• Murder or suicide? Police say man jumped to his death; family says he was murdered

    By: Tom Jones

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - A family believes someone murdered their loved one, but police told Channel 2 Action News he may have jumped from the seventh-floor window of an apartment complex.

    When Channel 2's Tom Jones interviewed Earnest Hudson in July, Hudson did not want the interview to be held at his high-rise apartment on Springdale Street in southwest Atlanta because he was afraid the people who shot him last year would come and kill him.

    Then, early Monday, Hudson died after he possibly jumping out of a window, police said.

    His family said police told them it was a suicide, but they do not agree.

    "My uncle ain't jumped out no window. He was scared of heights," Hudson's niece, Terri Smith, said.

    Hudson's family said less than 24 hours before he died here, he posted to Facebook, thanking the Lord for waking him up.


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    "My uncle wasn't suicidal. He loved us and would have never left us," Smith said.

    Hudson received a large settlement after he was shot during a birthday party where his best friend was murdered, and his family thinks someone killed him. 

    They said people around the Lakewood Christian Manor high-rise apartments knew he received the  settlement.

    "He was engaged to a woman. He had came into money," Hudson's nephew, Edward Shannon, said.

    Police said they were called after a tenant found Hudson's body on the ground.

    They saw a screen missing from an apartment window on the seventh floor. Officers said the tenant who lived in the unit told them Hudson came by earlier but assumed Hudson left after he went to bed.

    "Who go to sleep and leave somebody in their house?" Smith asked.

    The family is thinking about offering a reward for people who may have information.

    The investigation remains open, and investigators are awaiting the results from the medical examiner's office. 

    Hudson's family also said the murder trial for the man accused of shooting him is about to start and said Hudson was very concerned about retaliation in the case.

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