Jennifer Hudson's estranged brother-in-law, William Balfour, has pleaded not guilty in the murders of the singer's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew.

Balfour, 27, entered his plea to charges of first-degree murder and home invasion Tuesday at Cook County Criminal Court in Chicago. Before doing so he nodded to members of his family in the courtroom, The Associated Press reports.

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According to Chicago police officials, the chain of events leading to the tragic murders of Jennifer Hudson's three family members began when her sister, Julia, celebrated her 31st birthday on October 23 with cake and a small party at home.

The next morning, Julia's estranged husband William Balfour – booted last February from the house in Chicago where they lived with Julia's mother and 7-year-old son – showed up and spotted a gift he believed came from another man.

Posted in: Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson's estranged brother-in-law, William Balfour, was arrested late Monday in the slayings of the Oscar winner's mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew, according to Chicago police and the Chicago Tribune.

Formal charges have not yet been brought by the Cook County prosecutor's office, but Balfour was transferred from an Illinois state prison – where he has been held on suspicion of a parole violation – back into police custody.

Posted in: Jennifer Hudson

In the wake of the notorious shootings, hundreds of friends and relatives gathered to mourn the deaths of Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew, at Pleasant Gift Memorial Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side on Sunday.

At the public memorial, mourners listened to songs and recounted stories about Darnell Donerson, 57, Jason Hudson, 29, and Julian King, 7.

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A friend of Jennifer Hudson says he tried to warn the family about William Balfour, who is currently the main "person of interest" in the shootings of Hudson's mom, Darnell; brother, Jason and 7-year-old nephew, Julian King.

William Balfour, a.k.a. "Flex" - who's divorced from Hudson's sister, Julia, a bus driver - got into a huge fight with Julia, Darnell and Jason about a month ago, a neighbor says. James Peyton, Hudson's ex-fiance, was also present.

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In tragic but sadly expected news, Chicago police have officially confirmed the boy's body they found earlier in the day was in fact that of Julian King.

The seven-year-old nephew of Jennifer Hudson had been missing since Friday, when her mother, Darnell Donerson, and brother, Jason Hudson, were slain.

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Jennifer Hudson and her family members are offering a $100,000 reward for the safe return of her missing seven-year-old nephew Julian King, who has been unaccounted for since the grisly double murders of her mother and brother on Friday.

A rep for Hudson said that Jennifer and her family “appreciate the enormous amount of love, support and prayers they have received while she and her family try to cope with this tragedy and continue the search for Julian.”

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Jennifer Hudson Biography

Jennifer Hudson, Julian King
Jennifer Hudson is a former American Idol star AND Oscar winner. No one else on the planet can make that claim. Granted American Idol has... More »
Chicago, Illinois
Full Name
Jennifer Kate Hudson