Balfour Trial Open To Public Through Sign-Up Process

Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis

By Allison Preston
|  Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012  |  Updated 5:22 PM CDT
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PHOTOS: Jennifer Hudson Book Signing

The Cook County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that the People VS. W. Balfour trial will be open to those wishing to observe the trial through a sign-up process.

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The Cook County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday the trial of a man accused of killing Jennifer Hudson's family members will be open to the public. But potential spectators will need to sign up in-person the day before the preceedings in order to be admitted. 

The seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and those interested are required to register for a seat the day before they wish to attend the trial.

Members of the general public must also be 16 years of age or older and sign up in person at the lobby of the Criminal Courthouse, leaving their name with a court deputy between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Those interested in observing the opening day of the trial on Monday are required to register the Friday before.

Spectators are required to present a valid photo ID at registration and must arrive an hour prior to court starting to provide enough time to pass through security and complete the check-in process outside the courtroom.

The Judge has also ordered that observers will not be allowed to bring cell phones, bags, packages, coats, purses, or boxes of any kind into the courtroom. Clothing with prejudicial or inflammatory logos will also not be tolerated, and anyone being disruptive will be removed from the courtroom immediately.

Any violations to the regulations may result in the violator being held in contempt of court, and they could receive a fine according to Illinois civil and criminal law.

William Balfour was charged in the 2008 deaths of actress Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother, and 7-year-old nephew. The trial is set for Monday, April 23, 2012 at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse.  

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