In little more than a month William Balfour will find out whether he'll get a new trial or how long he'll spend in prison for the murders of singer-actress Jennifer Hudson's family members.
Judge Charles Burns set a date of July 24 to decide on defense attorneys' request for a new trial. If the motion is denied, sentencing is expected to follow.
Defense attorneys want a new trial because they say Hudson should not have been allowed to testify in Balfour's murder trial because she did not have direct knowledge of the murders, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Tribune also reports Hudson's fame played a role in attorneys objecting to her testimony. "The prejudicial effect of the testimony on the jury far outweighed any probative value it would have," Cook County public defender Amy Thompson wrote in a court filing.
A jury last month convicted Balfour of three counts of first-degree murder, as well as charges of aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle and home invasion.
Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, and brother, Jason Hudson, were found shot to death on Oct. 24, 2008, in the family's home on Chicago's South Side. Hudson's nephew, 7-year-old Julian King, was found murdered in an SUV days later.
Balfour faces a life sentence in prison.
A recap of trial coverage:
- Day 14: For Jurors, Cell Phone Forensics Were Key
- Day 14: Balfour Guilty on All Counts
- Day 14: Hudson Trial Jury Makes Video Requests
- Day 13: Day 2 of Deliberations Ends Without Verdict
- Day 12: Day 1 Deliberations in Hudson Trial End Without Verdict
- Day 11: Testimony in Hudson Family Murder Trial Ends Without Defendant Taking Stand
- Day 10: Friend of Balfour's Testifies Against Him at Hudson Trial
- Day 9: Witness: Hudson Had One Enemy, "That Cat" Balfour
- Day 8: Balfour DNA Not Found on Murder Weapon: Expert
- Day 8: Judge Bars Phones in Court
- Day 7: Neighbor Says Balfour Threatened Julia Hudson
- Day 7: Court Denies Jennifer Hudson Is Getting Star Treatment
- Day 6: Police Testify at Hudson Trial About Finding Gun
- Day 6: "Somebody Killed My Mother:" Hudson 911 Tape Released to Media
- Day 5: Balfour Girlfriend Says He Confessed to Killing Hudson Family Members
- Day 4: Witness: Balfour Repeatedly Threatened Hudson Family
- Day 3: Prosecutors Show Photos of Hudson's Slain Nephew
- Day 2: Cops Describe Finding Slain Hudson Family Members
- Day 1: Jennifer Hudson Breaks Down During Murder Trial