Jennifer Hudson Testifies During Ex-Brother-In-Law's Murder Trial

In this courtroom sketch, singer and actress Jennifer Hudson testifies on Monday in Chicago at the murder trial of William Balfour. i i

In this courtroom sketch, singer and actress Jennifer Hudson testifies on Monday in Chicago at the murder trial of William Balfour. Tom Gianni/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Tom Gianni/AP
In this courtroom sketch, singer and actress Jennifer Hudson testifies on Monday in Chicago at the murder trial of William Balfour.

In this courtroom sketch, singer and actress Jennifer Hudson testifies on Monday in Chicago at the murder trial of William Balfour.

Tom Gianni/AP

The Oscar-and Grammy Award-winning artist Jennifer Hudson took the stand today during the trial of the man accused of killing her mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew.

Reporting from Chicago, NPR's Cheryl Corley filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Hudson began crying when a prosecutor asked her about the last time she saw her family. She answered it was the Sunday before their slaying in October of 2008. The man accused of killing them, William Balfour, was Hudson's brother-in-law at the time.

"He was estranged from his wife and Hudson's sister Julia. Prosecutors say he became enraged when he found out his wife was dating someone else. Balfour has pleaded not guilty.

"Earlier in her testimony Hudson struggled to hold back tears when she told jurors her family had not wanted her sister to marry Balfour. The judge in the case has instructed jurors not to let Hudson's celebrity sway them but to base decisions on trial evidence and testimony."

The AP reports that if Balfour is found guilty he could face a mandatory life sentence. He was on parole at the time of the killings "after serving nearly seven years for attempted murder and vehicular hijacking, would face a mandatory life sentence."

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