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Jennifer Hudson was the first to take the stand Monday as the Chicago trial of William Balfour, the man accused of killing her family members in 2008, got underway.
Immediately following opening statements, the singer-actress was called to testify as a witness.
The bodies of Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, and brother, Jason Hudson, 29, were found shot to death inside the family’s home Oct. 24, 2008. The body of Hudson’s nephew, Julian King, 7, was found days later in a vehicle several miles away.
The defendant, 30-year-old Balfour, was married to Hudson’s sister Julia.
“None of us wanted her to marry him,” Hudson said during her testimony, according to the AP. “We did not like how he treated her.” After a tearful 30 minutes on the stand, Hudson took a fistful of tissues and took a seat in the fourth row next to her fiance, David Otunga.
Earlier this month, it was speculated that Hudson’s presence in court could complicate the trial. Among the jurors selected is a schoolteacher, an unemployed bank teller, a young chocolate-company employee, a member of an acrobatics group and someone who served years ago on the jury of another murder trial. The jury was encouraged not to watch American Idol, the show on which Hudson rose to fame in 2004. She won a supporting actress Oscar for 2006’s Dreamgirls.
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