Defendant in Hudson family murder case won’t testify

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CHICAGO (AP) — The man accused of killing Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson‘s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew will not testify in his own defense, his attorneys said Tuesday.

They informed the judge that Miss Hudson‘s former brother-in-law, William Balfour, had chosen not to speak directly to jurors minutes after prosecutors rested their case Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Balfour’s lawyers are expected to present a brief defense before resting themselves later Tuesday or Wednesday morning. With no surviving witnesses to the slayings, prosecutors have spent two weeks laying out a largely circumstantial case against Mr. Balfour. His attorneys could call witnesses to try to poke holes in that case, but jurors won’t hear from Mr. Balfour himself.

“He’s determined he does not wish to testify,” attorney Amy Thompson told the judge.

Before a lunch break, she asked the judge to dismiss the charges against Mr.  Balfour, saying prosecutors had called no direct witnesses and all the state’s evidence was circumstantial.

Judge Charles Burns denied the motion, which is commonly made by defense attorneys after prosecutors rest.

Witnesses have testified that the 30-year-old Mr. Balfour, who is the ex-husband of Miss Hudson‘s sister, threatened to kill members of the Hudson family numerous times.

On Tuesday, prosecutors showed pictures of Miss Hudson‘s nephew in the SUV where his body was found. When he first was found, a detective said there was a shower curtain over the boy’s body. He had been shot in the head, and at least one bullet went through the floor of the vehicle.

Miss Hudson has sat through the trial on a fourth-row bench, hanging her head during particularly grim testimony. She took the stand last month as the prosecutors’ first witness, testifying about the last time she saw her family alive. She also spoke about how much she always disliked Mr. Balfour.

The judge has said closing arguments in the trial could start Wednesday. Jurors then would begin deliberations.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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