Hudson Abandons Court Before Death Photos Shown

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Sentence In Jennifer Hudson Family Killings
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Sentence In Jennifer Hudson Family Killings

One day after taking the witness stand herself, Jennifer Hudson endured painful testimony today from a police officer who found her dead family members as the trial continued of the man accused of killing her mother, brother and nephew.

The Oscar winner sat next to her fiancé, David Otunga, in the Chicago courtroom as prosecutors shifted their focus to presenting crime scene evidence in the case against her former brother-in-law, William Balfour.

Hudson hung her head and closed her eyes as police Sgt. David Dowling described finding her mother's body sprawled in the living room with gunshot wounds in her back. The officer also described finding Hudson's brother dead in his bed of a gunshot wound to the head, with the sheets pulled up as if he had been sleeping.

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Balfour has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder in the October 2008 slayings. He faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted of at least two of the murder counts.

Since there are no known witnesses to the murders, prosecutors will be relying on circumstantial evidence to prove their case alleging that Balfour shot the three family members in a jealous rage because Hudson's sister Julia was dating another man. Public defender Amy Thompson told jurors during her opening statement that DNA found on the gun didn't match Balfour and asserted that this should "absolutely, positively" exclude him as the killer.

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Hudson was called as the first witness in the case on Monday after both sides presented opening arguments. She fought back tears as she told jurors how she reacted when her sister told her she was going to marry Balfour. "None of us wanted her to marry him. We did not like how he treated her," she said.

The star's sister Julia also testified on Monday, describing how Balfour repeatedly threatened her and her family after she rejected his pleas not to leave him in May 2008. "He said, 'If you leave me, you will be the last to die. I'll kill your family first,'" she recounted, her voice quivering.

According to the AP, Hudson slipped out of the courtroom just before prosecutors showed photos of how her mother and brother's dead bodies were found at the scene of the crime.

The pictures reportedly depicted Hudson's mother "sprawled face down on the floor and blood staining her white nightgown."

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