William Balfour Pleads Not Guilty

William Balfour, the man accused of killing actress/singer Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew in October, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and home-invasion charges, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Hudson’s mother, Darnell Hudson Donerson, 57, and brother Jason Hudson, 29, were found shot to death at Donerson’s Chicago home on October 24. The body of Hudson’s seven-year-old nephew, Julian King, was discovered in a sport-utility vehicle three days later.

Balfour, 27, is the estranged husband of Hudson’s sister Julia Hudson, 31. Balfour reportedly had a history of threatening the family members, saying that he “would kill Julia and mess up everyone in the house.”

Prosecutors claim that the murders were spurred by an argument that Balfour had with Julia about another man.

Oscar winner Hudson (she earned a Best Supporting Actress award for her stunning performance as Effie White in 2006’s Dreamgirls) canceled all public appearances and work commitments following the tragic deaths. She is scheduled to reenter the public eye in February, with performances scheduled for the Super Bowl on February 1 and at a pre-Grammys MusiCares charity event honoring Neil Diamond on February 6.

Expect something exceptional from perhaps the gutsiest American Idol contestant ever.