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Hudson at trial over family deaths
Jennifer Hudson has decided not to hear the opening statements in the trial of the man accused of killing her mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew.
But her fiance, David Otunga, sat in the Chicago court and stared as defendant William Balfour walked in. Balfour is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the 2008 shootings.
A court spokesman said Ms Hudson was in the building but would not be in the watching the start of the trial.
The 30-year-old actress and singer is among a list of 300 potential witnesses who could be called.
Prosecutors say a gift of balloons sent Balfour, at the time Hudson's brother-in-law, into such a jealous rage on October 24, 2008, that he shot dead her mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew in the home where the Hollywood star grew up.
Balfour believed the balloons came from Julia Hudson's new boyfriend, prosecutors have said. They say Balfour used a .45-caliber handgun to kill Hudson's mother, 57-year-old Darnell Donerson, in the living room, and then shot her 29-year-old brother, Jason Hudson, twice in the head as he lay in bed.
He allegedly drove off in Jason Hudson's SUV with Julia Hudson's son, Julian King, inside. Authorities say he shot the boy in the head as he lay behind a front seat. His body was found in the abandoned vehicle after a three-day search.
There are no known witnesses to the slayings.
If convicted of at least two of the murder counts, 30-year-old Balfour, 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.