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BUSTED for what police said was a rock of cocaine on the driver’s seat of his car, William Balfour could have been spending the past few months behind bars for a parole violation.
The 27-year-old felon was instead allowed to remain free and is considered a suspect in the deaths of Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew.
On the day the victims were fatally shot and the young boy went missing, Balfour told his parole agent he had missed a meeting because he was babysitting.
By midnight, investigators involved in a frantic search for seven-year-old Julian King had contacted parole officials and requested emergency addresses, telephone numbers and “anything further” connected to Balfour, according to documents.
No one has been charged in the killings. An Amber Alert issued on Friday named Balfour as a suspect in the deaths of Hudson’s mother, 57-year-old Darnell Donerson, and brother, 29-year-old Jason Hudson. Julian, Balfour’s stepson, was found on Monday shot to death in the back of an SUV on Chicago’s West Side.
The Illinois Department of Corrections issued a warrant for Balfour on Saturday for violating terms of his parole by possessing a weapon and failing to attend anger management counselling and a substance abuse programme, according to his parole report.
Balfour, who is in custody, was paroled after serving seven years for a 1999 attempted murder and vehicular hijacking conviction.
On June 19, police pulled over Balfour’s car after hearing gunshots in the area, according to the officers’ report. They found a rock of cocaine on the driver’s seat.
A parole supervisor declined to issue a warrant to revoke Balfour’s parole after the arrest, records show.
A judge dismissed the charge for lack of probable cause in July.
However, a felony arrest usually is sufficient reason for corrections officials to revoke parole, said Thomas Peters, a Chicago criminal defence attorney who represents parolees.
In Balfour’s case, a parole violation could have sent him back to prison for as long as the remainder of his parole — until May 2009 — minus a day off for each day of good behaviour.
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