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Jennifer Hudson called as first witness in triple-murder trial

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April

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Jennifer Hudson made a surprise appearance in a Chicago courtroom Monday, testifying against William Balfour, who is accused of killing Hudson's mother, Darnell Donaldson; Hudson's brother, Jason Hudson; and her 7-year-old nephew, Julian King in October 2008. Well, the testimony istn't surprising, but calling her as the first witness in a trial expected to last a month was.

Hudson broke down crying twice while speaking, the AP reports; once while talking about seeing her family just before the killing and again when talking about how the family didn't want her sister Julia Hudson to marry Balfour. "None of us wanted her to marry him," she said. "We did not like how he treated her." She identified Balfour as the defendant during her 30 minutes of testimony before retaking her seat next to fiance David Otunga.

Julia's testimony also was dramatic, saying how Balfour was jealous of 7-year-old Julian kissing his own mother -- "He'd say, 'Get off my wife,'" she noted -- to describing how he flipped out in May 2008 after she refused to reconcile with her husband. "He said, 'If you leave me, you will be the last to die. l'll kill your family first," Julia Hudson said.

Balfour has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder for allegedly shooting all three people in a jealous rage the day after Julia Hudson's birthday. His lawyers say evidence he shot Jason Hudson and Donaldson before driving off in Jason's SUV with Julian inside and later killing him is circumstantial. Balfour was on parole for attempted murder and vehicular hijacking at the time of the killings and faces a life sentence.

[Photo: AP]

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[Last modified: Monday, April 23, 2012 5:47pm]

    

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