Jennifer Hudson to Testify at Triple Murder Trial?
Jennifer Hudson, 30, may have to take the stand to testify against her former brother-in-law, William Balfour. Balfour allegedly killed three of her family members in what some called a jealous rage. He believed that his estranged wife Julia–Hudson’s sister–was in a relationship with another man.
Hudson’s mother, Darnelle Donerson, 57, her brother, Jason Hudson, 29, were murdered in their home on Oct. 24, 2008. After an amber alert later that same day, her young nephew Julian King‘s body was found days later and miles from the home. Balfour has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Dreamgirls Oscar winner has rarely talked about the murders, but in 2010 she told VH1 that the tragedy “was surreal… It was like I was outside myself.” Hudson added that she prays when she gets up in the morning and before she lies down at night, “If I didn’t, I’d wake up depressed.”
Hudson’s name is on a list of 300 potential witnesses and jury selection is starting today. Chicago court prosecutors are to choose 12 jurors among the 150 potential jurors, and one of their main concerns is the focus of the trial.
“All attention usually is on the celebrity sitting in the courtroom, and that’s the biggest challenge … to try to shift the focus from the celebrity observer to the action on the witness stand,” said Dana Cole, a Criminal Defense Attorney. Hudson is to appear on American Idol this Thursday which puts more attention on the singer. Prosecutors fear her star power may distract the jurors.
Hudson is expected to be there every day of the trial whether she’s choosen to testify or not. Cameras will not be allowed in the courtroom, but frenetic crowds of paparrazzi will be a likely scene at the trial hearings.