Jennifer Hudson took the witness stand at the murder trial of William Balfour, the man charged with murdering her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew and the singer broke down in tears during testimony.
Hudson, who was the first witness called by prosecutors, spoke for 50 minutes describing her close relationship with her mother and her family's apprehension of her sister Julia Hudson marrying Balfour.
Prosecutors say Balfour, the 30-year-old ex-husband of Hudson's sister, shot the family in a jealous rage because Julia Hudson was dating another man. The bodies of Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, and brother, Jason Hudson, 29, were found shot to death in the family's home on Oct. 24, 2008.
Hudson testified that flew down to Chicago to be with her family and identify the bodies of her mother and brother. She later put up a $100,000 reward to find her nephew, Julian King, but the 7-year-old's body was found three days later. Hudson also identified his body as well, according to the WLS report.
Hudson's fiance, David Otunga, was in the courthouse and Hudson sat next to him once her testimony was over.
Balfour has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder. The Oscar-winner's singer Julia Hudson also testified at the trial later that day. She said that her ex-husband was prone to jealousy and described threats he made.
"He said, 'If you leave me, you will be the last to die. l'll kill your family first,'" Julia Hudson said, according to the Associated Press. Under cross-examination, Julia Hudson admitted she was still having sex with Balfour days before the slayings.
During opening statements, Defense Attorney Amy Thompson suggested to jurors that the murders might have been a result of Jason Hudson's alleged drug dealing.
Julia Hudson testified that Jason Hudson owned .45 caliber gun, the type of weapon prosecutors allege the murder used in the killings. She added that the gun was stolen from Jason Hudson's home twice. The first time it was returned, the second time gun never resurfaced.
Balfour faces a mandatory life sentence if he gets convicted of at least two of the murder counts brought against him. The prosecutors may have a tough case ahead of them as there are no known witnesses to the killings, and it's unclear what physical evidence exists, including fingerprints or DNA.
Hudson, the 2004 "American Idol" finalist and 2007 Oscar winner for her role in "Dreamgirls, has stayed away from interviews about the murders but briefly spoke about her mother and brother during an interview on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in February 2011.
"I try to do everything to say, 'OK, will my mother like this? Will she be pleased? Will she be proud of that? How do I know she's happy and she's smiling down at me from heaven?'" Hudson said. "And that's what I try to go by and walk by."
Since the traumatic event the singer welcomed a son with fiance David Otunga named David Daniel Otunga Jr. on August 10, 2009.