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A memorial service today for Jennifer Hudson’s murdered relatives

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The public will be able to pay its respects to the grieving family of actress Jennifer Hudson today at a Chicago church. The Chicago Tribune reports the service will be from 4-to-7 p.m. at the Pleasant Gift Memorial Baptist Church. Also, a private funeral for 57-year-old Darnell Donerson, 29-year-old Jason Hudson, and 7-year-old Julian King is set for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, police believe they have recovered a murder weapon from some bushes near the scene of an abandoned Chevy Suburban. Last Monday, October 27, the body of Jennifer’s nephew was discovered in that SUV on the West Side of Chicago. Young Julian had been shot to death, as were his grandmother and uncle. Donerson and Jason Hudson’s bodies were found more than a week ago on October 24, in the family’s South Side Chicago home.

Investigators say forensic tests link the gun to the murders. An ex-con, 27-year-old William Balfour, has been questioned, but not charged in the case. Balfour is the estranged husband of Jennifer Hudson’s sister, Julia. Balfour reportedly has been sent back to prison on a parole violation. He served nearly seven years for attempted murder, carjacking, and possession of a stolen vehicle.

This weekend, reports surfaced suggesting the murder weapon may have belonged to Jason Hudson,  Jennifer’s murdered brother.

A few days ago, Jennifer and Julia announced they had set up the Hudson-King Foundation for relatives of victims of violent crimes.

Since appearing on the TV show ,”American Idol,” in 2004, Jennifer Hudson has been on a steady climb to stardom. She won the best supporting actress Oscar for her role in the 2006 movie musical, “Dreamgirls.” She appears in the new film, “The Secret Life of Bees.” The singer’s new hit single, “Spotlight,” is getting a lot of play right now along with her new self-titled album.

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