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Jennifer Hudson May Testify In Murder Trial

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Feb 28, 2012 6:20PM

Jennifer Hudson with Son David Daniel Otunga Jr. in February 2011/ s_bukley /
Prosecutors have revealed new information about the 2008 murders of Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew, and the Oscar winner is listed as a witness in the case against William Balfour, her sister's estranged husband.

The court documents reveal Jennifer Hudson had known Balfour since childhood and knew he'd been often in trouble with the law. Hudson said she and her family were unhappy her sister Julia Hudson had secretly married him in 2006. Julia and Balfour separated in February 2008 but stayed in contact.

Hudson's mother and brother were found dead in their Englewood home on the morning of Oct. 24, 2008. Julia Hudson's 7-year-old son Julian King was found dead days later in a stolen vehicle. The new documents show detectives first interviewed Jennifer Hudson shortly after the killings, and she said there was tension between Julia Hudson and her estranged husband. Balfour was initially held by police for parole violations, then arrested for murder five weeks after the killings.

It isn't certain that Jennifer Hudson will take the stand, though, when the trial starts in April. That may depend on how the court rules on Julia Hudson's testimony.

The Tribune writes:

Prosecutors want to block the defense from raising the marital communications privilege so that Julia Hudson can testify about repeated death threats allegedly made by Balfour in the months after the two separated in February 2008. Despite their separation, their sexual relationship continued until days before the killings, according to the court filing.

Julia Hudson told police she had been threatened as many as two dozen times by Balfour, but before the October killings, she didn't take the threats seriously because she didn't believe he would follow through.

The morning of the murders, Julia says Balfour saw the Sweetest Day balloons she'd received from her new boyfriend, and he became angry. Balfour was still at the house when Julia left for work shortly after.

Cellphone records show Balfour near the home until shortly after 9 a.m. Two teenage girls next door heard gunshots around 9 a.m. but didn't call police because "gunfire is occasionally heard in the area."

It was Jennifer Hudson who first suspected something was wrong when her mother hadn't called her by 11 a.m. She sent a text and got no response.