Hudson Slayings: The Smoking Gun?
Does the lack of DNA on the murder weapon mean that William Balfour will walk? An expert weighs in.
But under intense cross-examination, Jones revealed that he was a frequent visitor at the Hudson house and assisted Jason by opening the door for customers looking to buy cocaine. He also revealed that he helped Jason cook crack cocaine in one of the kitchens in the home.
Stirring Jury Emotions
Julia Hudson painted a damning portrait of Balfour as the prosecution's second witness. She described him as a jealous narcissist who stalked her after she rebuffed his entreaties to reconcile their marriage. She also said that he repeatedly threatened to kill her and her family. They recently divorced.
"He was jealous," she said. "Like he didn't like anybody to do anything for me. It was always a problem. You know, so I didn't like that."
He was also jealous of her 7-year-old son, she testified. "Julian couldn't kiss me," she said. " 'Don't kiss my wife,' " he would say. "Julian couldn't lay up under me. 'That is my wife. Get up off my wife.' "
Jennifer Hudson, who was the first witness for the prosecution, described a strained relationship with Balfour and said that she would "separate herself" whenever he was around. She is expected to appear in court every day of the trial.
Despite the lack of physical evidence, strong witness testimony and Jennifer Hudson's presence could elicit sympathy from the jury, some legal experts say.
But Lopez said that the trial is not about the star, and her presence should not sway the jury. "So what, Jennifer Hudson's in the courtroom every day," Lopez said. "The case is not about her. It's whether or not the state can prove [Balfour] guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
"She had nothing to do with this case. She wasn't there. She's not a witness. Forget about her," said Lopez. "This is a case about who did it, and they haven't proved that [Balfour] did it. He didn't confess to it. Not only that, [but] the DNA evidence excludes him.
"If you have scientific evidence that excludes the person, there is a problem," he continued. "It's obvious somebody else did it. The state has to prove that he did it beyond a reasonable doubt. I don't think they are going to be able to do that, not with the scientific evidence pointed in a different direction."
Lynette Holloway is the Midwest bureau chief for The Root. The Chicago-based writer is a former New York Times reporter and associate editor for Ebony magazine.