Funeral set for 3 Hudson victims

AP Source: Hudson's nephew likely killed in SUV
October 31, 2008 10:00:19 AM PDT
Funeral services are now set for the mother, brother and nephew of Jennifer Hudson. The Hudson family announced funeral services for Darnell Donerson, Jason Hudson and Julian King will be private and held Monday. Only family and invited guests will be allowed in to the Apostolic Church on South Dorchester.

The triple-murders continue to spark emotions and anger in the Englewood neighborhood and beyond. Local ministers say it's time all murders are met with similar outrage.

Chicago police detectives believe the 7-year-old nephew of actress Jennifer Hudson was probably shot to death in the SUV where his body was found, according to a source of the Associated Press.

People gathered near that crime scene on the West Side Thursday to pray and remember Julian King, his uncle and grandmother.

Investigators are awaiting test results on a key piece of evidence in the Hudson family murders. A gun was found in a vacant lot near the site where 7-year-old Julian King's body was found Monday.

Whether the discovery is a coincidence or key piece of evidence still remains to be seen. The .45 caliber gun is the same caliber of weapon investigators say was used in the Hudson family murders.

On Thursday morning, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Jody Weis says this development will certainly help move their investigation forward.

"Recovering the weapon was a good sign. It gives us some additional clues. We're going to keep running them down. Like I mentioned before, I am extremely confident that this case will be solved," Weis said.

It's a lead Weis says his investigators are taking seriously. He made his comments as he visited a Chicago public school as principal for a day Thursday and as the weapon was rushed to the state crime lab for analysis to see if it is indeed the gun used to murder Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew Julian King.

It was Wednesday afternoon when a police trainee found the weapon in some weeds in a vacant lot around the corner from the SUV where King's body was found.

Investigators are looking for the mechanical equivalent of a "fingerprint." It's marked on a bullet each time a gun is fired. The lines are called striations, and they allow forensics experts in a lab to connect a weapon with bullets found in a victim.

King's estranged stepfather, William Balfour, 27, remains a person of interest in the case. He has now reportedly refused to take a polygraph test and has stopped cooperating with investigators. Balfour is currently being held on a parole violation.

Detectives say they are continuing to work every lead while the main theory remains one attacker is responsible for the slayings.

"Right now, we're just looking at what we have. We're still waiting for some of the forensics to come back from both the crime scenes and also from the weapon that was recently recovered. I think that will give us some strong indication of how many people were actually involved in this," said Weis.

Superintendent Weis also says that investigators did gather other bits of evidence at the same location where that gun was found, but he would not be specific about what they found.


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