A former friend and neighbor of Jennifer Hudson’s family testified today he saw William Balfourspying on the Hudsons' home late one night in the summer before three members of the singer’s family were slain.
Reginald Jones, 55, testified that he was good friends with Hudson’s brother, Jason Hudson, and would often perform odd jobs for the family, including walking their dog, fixing cars and running errands.
Jones, who admitted he had a crack cocaine habit, also bought drugs from Jason Hudson and would occasionally help him sell “dime bags” of crack from the Englewood home.
In the summer of 2008, Jones testified, he was walking back toward the rear of the Hudson home late one night when he was startled by Balfour, who was sitting in the dark on the bottom of the rear stairs underneath the bedroom window of his estranged wife, Julia Hudson, who is Jennifer Hudson’s sister.
“I was walking and somebody says, ‘Reggie, what the hell are you doin’ here?’” Jones testified. “It shocked me.”
Balfour, 30, is accused of gunning down Jason Hudson, 29, mother Darnell Donerson, 57, and 7-year-old Julian King on Oct. 24, 2008, allegedly because he was angry his wife wanted a divorce and was seeing someone new.
In a tense cross-examination, Jones admitted that he would sometimes be at the Hudson home and would open the door for customers looking to buy cocaine from Jason Hudson, who had been shot in the leg in a home invasion a few years earlier and couldn’t get around well.
Jones also testified that on one occasion, he helped Jason Hudson cook cocaine into crack in one of the kitchens in the home.
That testimony helps bolster defense theories that Jason Hudson’s drug business could have led to the murders.
In other testimony today, Maria Wilkes, 17, said Balfour approached her in an Englewood park in the summer of 2008 and started spouting off about his wife and how she was being unfaithful.
“He was talking to me about his wife and how she was cheating on him,” said Wilkes, who was 13 years old at the time. “He was just saying how she got a new boyfriend and how he didn’t want to leave her…He said he was going to have to deal with it.”
Wilkes, who lived in the neighborhood but did not known Balfour well, said she was walking down Yale Avenue later that summer and overheard an argument between Balfour and Julia Hudson outside on the street.
“I heard him tell her that if she was giong to call the police, he would kill her and her family,” Wilkes said.
Under cross-examination by Balfour’s attorney, Edward Koziboski, Wilkes said she never told her story to police and only divulged it when prosecutors approached her last July. She also said she did not hear anything that Julia Hudson said during the alleged argument.
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