Entries in Court (20)


Jennifer Hudson Gives Tearful Testimony at Murder Trial

John Shearer/WireImage(CHICAGO) -- Jennifer Hudson took the stand for nearly an hour Monday afternoon as the first witness in the Chicago trial of the man charged with killing her mother, brother and nephew.

"None of us wanted her to marry William," she said of her sister's marriage to defendant William Balfour, her voice cracking with emotion. "We did not like how he treated her."

Crying on the stand at one point, Hudson, who has vowed to attend every day of the trial, paused for a few seconds to compose herself. The award-winning actress and singer choked up when asked about her relationship with her mother, saying, "I slept with my mom until I was 16 years old." Hudson also testified she would sign blank checks and leave them for her mother, so that she could pay the household bills. 

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Hudson, 30, described the last time she saw her mother, a few days before the killings in the family home. She said she remembered it vividly because it was one of the few times that the entire family came over to share a meal. "Thank God I got that," she testified.

Hudson's voice cracked with emotion almost every time she spoke about her mother. At one point a deputy brought her a box of tissues and a cup of water.

Hudson testified that she knew something was wrong on the day of the killings in 2008 because her mother didn't text her that morning as she usually did by 9 a.m.

Despite her powerhouse of a singing voice, Hudson had to be instructed more than once to speak louder on the witness stand, even with a microphone in front of her.

Hudson said she learned of the killings from her sister, Julia, and flew back to Chicago to identify the bodies of her mother and brother at the medical examiner's office. She did the same thing a few days later for her 7 year-old nephew, for whom she said she had often babysat.

On cross examination, the defense asked Hudson about brother Jason Hudson's being shot in the past. The defense's opening statement painted a portrait of Jason, 29, as a drug dealer who "brought danger" to himself and his family.

After testifying for about 50 minutes, Hudson, who used a private entrance to gain access to court, sat in the gallery with fiance David Otunga and a bodyguard, in addition to two deputies who guarded the bench on which she sat.

Showing little emotion, Julia Hudson testified later that she knew Balfour was a drug dealer. "I eventually fell for him, after him being so persistent," she said of their relationship. They were married Dec. 30, 2006. She didn't invite or tell her mother, brother Jason or sister Jennifer about the wedding.

She testified that their relationship took a tumble after she returned from a trip to Japan with Jennifer promoting Dreamgirls in February 2007. She said she realized in the year after Japan that Balfour was having relationships with three other women. "It was not a secret, they would call, I would answer," she said.

She said her mother and Balfour "didn't get along."

"He was jealous," she said. "Wouldn't like anybody to do anything. Everything was a problem."

The jealousy apparently extended to her son from a previous relationship. "Julian couldn't kiss me. 'Don't kiss my wife,'" she said Balfour would tell her then-six-year-old son, Julian.

Balfour's trial opened Monday morning with State's Attorney Veryl Gambino recounting the defendant's alleged threat to his estranged wife, Julia Hudson, in the weeks preceding the killings: "If you leave me, I'll kill you. I'll kill your family first and then I'll kill you."

Gambino went on to describe Balfour as being enraged that Julia was dating another man and said he had issued several threats against her and her family, despite his being involved with two other women. Balfour allegedly went into a rage Oct. 24, 2008, after seeing balloons sent to Julia Hudson by another man and punched them.

After fatally shooting the actress' mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, in her living room, prosecutors allege, he shot Hudson's brother, Jason, as he lay in bed, before kidnapping her nephew, Julian. Investigators believe the boy was shot in the head as he lay behind the front seat.

Balfour has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder. His trial is expected to last a month.  

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lindsay Lohan Due in Court, Probation Expected to End

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Thursday will be a very exciting day for Lindsay Lohan.

The Mean Girls star is scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles court at 10 a.m. PT.  If all goes according to plan, her probation will come to an end.

When Lohan last appeared in court, on Feb. 22, the judge handling her case said she'd be off probation if she completes 14 more days of community service at a morgue and five therapy sessions by Thursday's hearing.

Lohan's rep says the actress has done just that.  He told E! News, "When she arrives in court [Thursday], she will have completed all of her obligations." recently reported that an incident earlier this month, in which Lohan is accused of grazing a bystander with her Porsche while leaving a Hollywood nightclub, will not be held against her in her probation case.

Lohan is expected to be placed on informal probation until May 2014.  She'll still have to keep her nose clean, but she won't have to make any court appearances.

Her rep says Lohan isn't "celebrating" the end of her probation, but is rather "ending one chapter and starting the next.  She is very eager to get back on set and dive into her next few projects."

Lohan is in the process of launching a career comeback, with roles in the Fox series Glee and in a Lifetime movie about Elizabeth Taylor.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Judge to Lindsay Lohan: 'You're in the Home Stretch'

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Lindsay Lohan's future is looking brighter. A day after news broke she'd be playing Elizabeth Taylor in a Lifetime movie, a Los Angeles judge said the actress is sailing through probation with flying colors.

"You're in the home stretch," Judge Stephanie Sautner told a beaming Lohan in court Wednesday morning. "You seem to be getting your life back on track and that's what we all hoped for."

Sautner explained as long as Lohan keeps her nose clean, and completes 14 more days of community service and five therapy sessions by the next progress hearing March 29, her formal probation on DUI charges will be considered successfully completed. Her probation on a theft case will require her only to "obey all laws," Sautner said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mel Gibson Back in Court -- As a Prospective Juror

Mike Marsland/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Mel Gibson has been no stranger to courtrooms in recent years, but his visit to a Los Angeles courthouse Monday was simply to perform his civic duty as a prospective juror.

TMZ reports Gibson was spotted outside a jury assembly room talking on his cellphone and reading a script.  Sporting a baseball cap, a dark sports coat, button-up shirt and jeans, Gibson also chatted with fans and allowed photographs to be taken.

In March 2011, Gibson pleaded no contest to misdemeanor spousal battery in connection with an alleged altercation he had with then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.  The two reached a settlement in August that called for Gibson to pay Grigorieva $750,000.

Earlier, in 2006, Gibson was arrested in a much-publicized DUI incident.´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Judge Praises Lindsay Lohan at Court Hearing

GARY FRIEDMAN/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Lindsay Lohan’s staying on the straight and narrow. Lohan was back in a Los Angeles court Tuesday for another progress hearing, and for the second time in as many months, the Mean Girls star -- who is on probation for previous DUI and theft convictions -- received a glowing review from Judge Stephanie Sautner.

Sautner praised Lohan for completing all of her required community service on time Tuesday, saying, “Keep doing what you’re doing. You appear to be doing very well.”

Lohan’s next hearing is Feb. 22. She’ll have to complete 15 more days of community service and attend five more therapy sessions by then.

Lohan is required to perform a minimum of 12 days of community service per month at a Los Angeles County morgue and attend a minimum of four psychotherapy sessions per month. If all goes well, her probation requirements could be finished by March 29.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lindsay Lohan Headed to Court Tuesday for Progress Hearing

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Lindsay Lohan is due back in a Los Angeles court Tuesday for another progress hearing.

The Mean Girls star, who is on probation for previous DUI and theft convictions, received a glowing review from a judge when she last appeared in court in mid-December.

Lohan is required to perform a minimum of 12 days of community service per month at a Los Angeles County morgue and attend a minimum of four psychotherapy sessions per month.  According to, she's fulfilled her obligations to date after working at the morgue late last week.

´╗┐Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lindsay Lohan Goes Back to Court Wednesday

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- Lindsay Lohan is due in a Los Angeles court Wednesday for a progress hearing in her shoplifting case.

Her court appearance comes one week after a report claimed she was dismissed from a court-ordered community service program at a Los Angeles women's center for not fulfilling her obligations.  The 24-year-old Mean Girls star has denied the report on Twitter.

Though prosecutors reportedly will recommend jail time for Lohan, it's not likely that she'll go behind bars again, according to ABC News legal analyst Royal Oakes.

Oakes says, "She has completed various components, her shoplifting course, she sees her therapist regularly.  The fact that she's missed some appointments at a women's center in all likelihood is not going to result in jail time, partly because the jail overcrowding situation in Los Angeles is so serious."

In May, Lohan pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor theft charge in connection with the alleged theft of a $2,500 necklace from a California jewelry store.  She was ordered to perform 480 hours of community service.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Judge Threatens to Revoke Lindsay Lohan's Probation

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- It may be that Lindsay Lohan still hasn't learned her lesson.

During a Thursday court appearance for a probation progress hearing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner expressed dissatisfaction with how few hours the actress has completed towards her court ordered community service.

After two months, Lohan has only trimmed four days from a 480-hour stint of service.  Judge Sauter promised Lohan won't get "five minutes more" than a year to finish it.

That rumored John Gotti biopic to which Lohan is reportedly attached is no excuse, Judge Sautner warned.

Judge Sautner also underlined that Lohan was ordered to undergo counseling as part of her sentence, yet she still has not done so.  The judge promised Lohan and her attorney, Shawn Holley, that she would revoke the star's probation if proof Lohan has started seeking treatment is not received by Aug. 11.

Holley claimed Lindsay was experiencing "financial issues" that affected her ability to seek counseling.

Lohan was ordered to appear in court for another progress report on Oct. 19.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Lindsay Lohan Escapes Jail Time, Can Legally Drink Again

AL SEIB/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Lindsay Lohan has escaped jail time again, and now she's officially allowed to drink alcohol.

At a Los Angeles Superior Court hearing Thursday, Judge Stephanie Sautner ruled that the actress did not violate her probation stemming from her 2007 DUI case because there was no order in place to test her for drugs and alcohol.

But Sautner ordered Lohan, who was in court because she failed an alcohol test last week, not to have parties and not have more than one friend at her house at a time. She also told the problem-prone star not to do "stupid" things that fly in the face of the court's order.

Sautner said Lohan was guilty of "extremely poor judgment by having roof parties while on home confinement" before adding, "poor judgment is not a violation of your probation." Lohan threw a rooftop barbeque for her friends last week.

Prosecutors asked to reinstate mandatory drug and alcohol testing; Sautner declined the request.

The decision came after more than an hour of deliberations between Lohan's legal team and prosecutors in Sautner's chambers. The actress arrived for her 10 a.m. PT hearing in a conservative outfit -- black slacks, black shoes, a button down shirt, her blonde hair pulled back -- a departure from her more revealing recent courtroom attire.

Lohan was ordered to court after she failed an alcohol test last week. The L.A. County probation department was under the impression that she was required to take drug and alcohol tests, but upon a closer reading of Lohan's old probation order Thursday, the testing requirement was deemed expired.

That means that technically, Lohan can drink alcohol.

The hearing came as Lohan wraps up her house arrest stint for taking a $2,500 necklace from a Venice, Calif., jewelry store. She's due to be released from house arrest Wednesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Lindsay Lohan Ordered Back to Court Thursday

ABC NewsUPDATE: reports that Lohan tested positive for alcohol within the past two weeks, in violation of her probation.

(LOS ANGELES) -- Lindsay Lohan has been ordered to court Thursday morning for a hearing to determine whether the actress violated her probation.  While she's under house arrest, she can't leave her home, use drugs or drink alcohol among other things.  But she allegedly did something to trigger the court appearance, and if the judge finds her in violation, she could send Lohan to jail.  

The actress has be confined to her beach house since the end of May.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio