Hudson Family Murder Trial Begins: Jennifer Hudson Breaks Down on the Stand

Hudson Family Murder Trial Begins: Jennifer Hudson Breaks Down on the Stand

In a surprise move, Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson was called as the prosecution’s first witness in the Hudson family murder trial in Chicago. The award-winning singer and actress broke down and cried on the witness stand Monday as she recalled the brutal 2008 murders of her mother, brother and young nephew, allegedly at the hands of her jealous brother-in-law, William Balfour. “It was always me and my Tugga Bear,” she told jurors of her beloved 7-year-old nephew Julian King.

Balfour is accused of killing Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in the Southside Chicago home where the Hollywood star grew up. Balfour allegedly killed Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, in the living room, then shot her 29-year-old brother, Jason Hudson, twice in the head as he lay in bed. He then drove off with her sister’s son, Julian King, and later shot the boy, nicknamed “Juice Box,” in the head as he lay behind a front seat, authorities say.

It is anticipated that Jennifer Hudson will attend the entire trial. She was accompanied to court today by her fiancé, the professional wrestler David Otunga. Following her 30-minute testimony, she joined him in the fourth row of the courtroom.

Read more about the trial in The Chicago Tribune here.

Hudson Family Murder Trial Begins

Interview: Jury Expert Discusses Hudson Murder Trial

Jennifer Hudson: And I Am Telling You, I’m Not Going

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Jennifer Hudson Shines at the 2009 Grammy Awards!!

Jennifer Hudson Shines at the 2009 Grammy Awards!!

A tearful Jennifer Hudson won her first Grammy, for the best R&B Album of the Year, thanking her family “in heaven and those who are with me today.” Hudson made no direct reference to the killings of her mother, brother and nephew that had kept her in seclusion until just this month. But while fighting back tears, she made it clear that her family was foremost on her mind. Hudson later performed You Pulled Me Through, a typically strong vocal performance; as she sang the last note, she looked directly into the camera and dissolved into tears .

Jennifer Hudson’s self-titled debut album was a 2009 Grammy nominee for R&B Album of the Year, while her song Spotlight was in the running for the Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. In addition, Hudson shared a nomination for the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals for her duet with Fantasia on I’m His Only Woman.

It’s been a childhood dream of mine to release an album, so to receive four Grammy nominations is truly a blessing. I’m extremely honored and humbled by the nominations,” Hudson had said in a statement released by Arista Records earlier.

Hudson’s Grammy Award Acceptance Speech and Performance

Jennifer Hudson 2009 Grammy Awards: Spotlight

Clive Davis Grammy Party 2008: And I Am Telling You

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