A murder indictment was handed down Tuesday against William Balfour, the man charged with killing the mother, brother and nephew of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson, reports the Associated Press.
The 27-year-old had previously been charged with three counts of first-degree murder, but a grand jury must indict a defendant before the case can go to trial, said Andy Conklin, a spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney's office.
No new details or charges were outlined in the indictment against Balfour, who faces first-degree murder and home invasion charges. The 27-year-old appeared briefly in court wearing a yellow prison jumpsuit and handcuffs but did not speak.
Defense attorney Joshua Kutnick asked the judge whether Balfour could be moved to the Cook County jail from a state facility in Joliet to make it easier to communicate with his client. The judge put off ruling on that decision until Jan. 20.
Balfour, the estranged husband of Jennifer Hudson's sister Julia, has pleaded not guilty in the deaths of the entertainer's mother, Darnell Donerson; her brother, Jason Hudson; and her 7-year-old nephew and Balfour's stepson, Julian King.
Kutnick believes the prosecution does not have a case because hard evidence linking Balfour to the crimes does not exist.
"The police believe it is William Balfour, but the problem is what they have done. They find their suspect and build evidence around the suspect. That's not the way it should work. They should gather evidence and it should lead to a suspect," Kutnick said. "This was the convenient person to go to. It is bolstered by the fact that it took them so long to get him arrested and charged."
Balfour's mother, Michele Davis Balfour, who attended Tuesday's hearing with several family members, declined to comment. Members of the Hudson family did not attend the hearing.