Jennifer Hudson is first witness in ex-brother-in-law's murder trial

Jennifer Hudson is first witness in ex-brother-in-law's murder trial

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Jennifer Hudson

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Associated Press

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 5:00 PM

CHICAGO -- A former federal prosecutor says it was shrewd of prosecutors to call Jennifer Hudson as their first witness in the trial of the man accused of killing her family.

Chicago attorney Phil Turner says the move "rivets the jury."

The singer and actress cried Monday while testifying at the trial of William Balfour. Prosecutors allege he killed her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in October 2008 after flying into a jealous rage over his estranged wife, who is Hudson’s sister.

Turner said Hudson now can sit through the rest of the trial, in full view of the jury. Witnesses typically are not allowed to watch trials until they have testified.

Monday afternoon, Hudson's sister took the stand. Julia Hudson told jurors about coming home from work in 2008 to discover her mother’s bloodied body. She said she ran outside and screamed, ‘Someone killed my mother!"

She told jurors that Balfour, her ex-husband, was so jealous that he even became angry when her son, Julian King, kissed her.

Balfour has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder in the October 2008 slayings.

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