Jennifer Hudson's Testimony in Devastating Murder Trial Will Break Your Heart

I can't imagine how painful it must be for Jennifer Hudson to relieve—detail by detail—the tragedy that happened to her family in 2008, but the former American Idol contestant and Oscar-winning actress spent 30 minutes on the stand yesterday during the trial of her former brother-in-law, William Balfour. Balfour is charged with killing Hudson's mother, her brother, and and her 7-year-old nephew in an incomprehensible act of revenge against his ex-wife, Hudson's sister.

Hudson testified just yards from the man accused of killing her family, and despite her emotions, was able to describe the day the bodies were found, and the moment when she first suspected something was wrong. 

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According to Hudson, she texted back and forth with her mother every day. She described how close she was with her mom:

I slept with my mom until I was 16 years old, you know, and even after I moved out, I would go back home and lay in the bed with her. Any time I go to visit.

She also testified that she would have a text from her mother every single morning:

(She would respond) instantly because she was, you know, always worried so -- because I'm always on the road so, "I just needed to hear from you. I'm glad you're okay." So it was instant. Right behind my text she would send me one.

On Friday, October 24, 2008, Hudson had an uneasy feeling when she not only didn't have a text from her mother in the morning, her mom didn't respond when she texted her:

I woke up about 10:00 or 11:00 in the morning, and I noticed that -- I'm looking to see the text from my mom and it wasn't any.  I thought it was very strange because if I'm waking up around 10:00 or 11 o'clock and there is no message from her at all, that was just really odd to me. And I kept sitting there wondering like that's strange. That was the first thing I said, My mom didn't text me.

Later in the afternoon, her sister called her in hysterics, and Hudson rushed home. She then had the unimaginable task of identifying her mother and brother at the Cook County Medical Examiner's office … and she went back to identify the body of her young nephew when he was discovered three days later.

Hudson also testified that she had warned her sister against marrying Balfour ("None of us, myself, my mother, or my brother, we did not like how he treated her, and I didn't like how he treated my nephew"), and she broke down when she described seeing her family the Sunday before the killings ("That was the last time I saw them. Thank God I got that opportunity.")

The details of the case are just heartbreaking, and it seems extra difficult for Hudson's family to be going through this four years after the incident, when wounds have likely started to heal. Reportedly, there are dozens of family members observing the trial from the courtroom, including including Hudson's son, David Jr., and her fiance, so hopefully they're able to lean on each other to get through this ordeal.

Here's hoping the case doesn't drag on for too long, and that the family is able to find some peace once justice is served.

Image via Flickr/WEBN-TV

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