Judge Sets Balfour Decision Date

William Balfour faces life in prison for the murders of Jennifer Hudson's family members

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.

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