Testimony in Hudson Family Murder Trial Ends Without Defendant Taking Stand

Prosecutors rest their case against William Balfour; closing arguments expected Wednesday

Prosecutors on Tuesday wrapped up their case against the man accused of killing three of Jennifer Hudson's family members with the only physical evidence between the suspect and the slayings: a set of car keys.

The keys, Chicago police detective Chet Bach testified, were taken from William Balfour at the time of his arrest. They fit the SUV owned by Jason Hudson, the Oscar-winner's brother, said Bach, the state's 83rd and final witness.

Balfour is accused of shooting and killing Jason Hudson and Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, on Oct. 24, 2008. The body of Hudson's 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, was found in the SUV three days later.

Balfour has pleaded not guilty.

Balfour's defense team called two witnesses, including Det. Tom Kelly, who testified for the prosecution a day earlier. Attorneys challenged the chain of evidence for those keys and asked why they didn't show up on one police report. Kelly said they were included in a supplementary report.

While the prosecution presented 83 witnesses over the 11 days, the defense presented only two in the course of 20 minutes before resting its case. Balfour's attorneys asked Judge Charles Burns for a directed verdict, but that motion was denied.

Closing arguments in the trial are expected Wednesday. 

Much of the testimony presented to the diverse group of jurors is circumstantial and centers mainly on motive and ability. The gun experts said was the murder weapon did not carry Balfour's DNA, a forensic investigator told the court last week.

In their cross-examination, the defense team has laid the groundwork that Jason Hudson was a drug dealer and had other enemies who could have committed the crimes.

Jennifer Hudson was in court Tuesday as she has been every day since testimony began last month. Wearing a beige blouse, pants and high heels, she looked more relaxed than usual, even smiling once as a prosecutor cross-examined one witness.

If convicted on all counts, Balfour faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

A recap of trial coverage so far:

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