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Home > Press Page

Tuessday, April 17, 2012 —Members of the general public who wish to observe the upcoming People VS. W. Balfour Criminal Trial will be required to register for a seat in advance, the Cook County Sheriff's Office announced today.

The People VS. W. Balfour Trial is set to begin Monday, April 23, 2012, at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse, 2650 S. California Avenue. The defendant, William Balfour, is charged in the 2008 deaths of three members of the family of actress Jennifer Hudson.

Seating for the general public is limited, but will be available each day court will be in session. All seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

All members of the general public, 16 years of age or older, interested in viewing the trial, must sign up in person in the lobby of the Criminal Courthouse the day before they wish to be in court. To sign up, interested parties must register their name with a Court Deputy in the lobby of the courthouse between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. for the next day's court session. For example, if you wish to observe the trial on a Wednesday, you must come to the courthouse on Tuesday to add your name to the list. Individuals are not allowed to register anyone other than themselves.

Anyone wishing to observe the trial on a Monday is required to register the Friday before. As this trial is scheduled to begin on Monday, April 23, 2012, the first day of Spectator Registration will be on Friday, April 20, 2012, from 3 – 5 p.m. Additionally, everyone registering must present a valid photo identification card including a driver's license, state ID or passport.

Spectators are reminded to arrive one hour prior to court starting. This will allow ample time to pass through the main courthouse security area as well as complete the check-in process outside the Trial Courtroom before being seated.

Spectators will not be allowed to bring cell phones, bags, packages, briefcases, coats, purses or boxes of any kind into the Trial Courtroom or wear any type of clothing with prejudicial or inflammatory logos, per the Judge's decorum orders. Anyone causing a disruption, outburst, noise or distraction will be immediately removed from the Courtroom. Any violation may result in the violator being held in contempt of court and/or being subject to monetary sanctions according to Illinois civil and criminal law.

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