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Jennifer Hudson Delivers Emotional Testimony in Family Murder Trial

Jennifer Hudson, Eric Balfour
Jamie McCarthy / Handout, Getty Images

The trial for the murder of Jennifer Hudson‘s mother, brother and nephew began today — and J-Hud was the first witness called to testify. We advise readers to proceed at their discretion, as some of the testimony and court arguments reported are very disturbing.

E! Online reports that Hudson, accompanied in the courtroom by fiancee David Otunga, spoke out about her sister Julia’s relationship with William Balfour, the man accused of murdering her mother, brother and nephew.

“I told her over and over again to not marry him. We did not like how he treated her,” Hudson said. Hudson cried on the stand when she described the last time she saw her slain family members. “It was my mother, my brother, my sister and my dog,” Hudson said of the surprise visit to her home, in which she said she played piano with her brother and mom. “I was so surprised. The whole family is here. That was the last time I saw them,” she said, sobbing. “Thank God I had the opportunity.”

Hudson is expected to be present at every day of the trial, which is expected to last about one month.

Balfour, 30, is facing a maximum life sentence for the slaying of Hudson’s mother (Darnell Donerson, 57), brother (Jason Hudson, 29) and nephew (Julian King, 7) on Oct. 24, 2008. Prosecutors allege that a gift from Julia’s new boyfriend sent Balfour into a blind rage, leading him to slay the family.

Julia told investigators that on the day of the murders, she saw Balfour linger behind as she left for work. Prosecutors claim Balfour went back inside the family’s house at about 9AM and used a .45-caliber handgun to kill Donerson, in the living room, then shot Jason, who was lying in bed, twice in the head.

The prosecution says that immediately following the shootings, Balfour sped off in Jason’s SUV with Julia’s son Julian, lying behind a front seat. Authorities claim Balfour shot Julian in the head. His body was found in the abandoned vehicle miles away after a three-day search.

The ‘Dream Girls’ star was called to testify because she always called or texted her mother daily between 9 and 11AM. When she never heard back by late morning on Oct. 24, 2008, she realized something was wrong. Her mother and brother’s bodies were discovered in their home later that day, while her nephew’s body was found in Jason’s then-abandoned SUV days later.

According to The Boombox, at the time of the murders, Balfour was on parole after serving seven years in prison for attempted murder and vehicular hijacking. He previously threatened Julia, but his most chilling threat, per the prosecution, came the day before the killings: “If you ever leave me, I’m going to kill you, but I’m going to kill your family first.”

No eyewitnesses to the case are known, and physical and DNA evidence in the case is being debated by the prosecution and defense.

Our thoughts are with Hudson during what may be one of the most difficult things anyone can face. Hopefully the conclusion of the trial will bring justice and closure to J-Hud and her family.

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