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Jennifer Hudson's family trial gets phone ban

Jennifer Hudson appears in an undated promotional photo for her April AOL Sessions performance. (JenniferHudson.com)

May 3, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Ringing cellphones caused drama in the trial of the man accused of killing members of Jennifer Hudson's family.

It has become such a problem that Judge Charles Burns has now banned all cellphones from the courtroom.

Burns had previously given journalists permission to use cellphones to send emails. However, cellphones went off in the middle of testimony at least three times in less than two weeks.

The judge also cited a journalist who held a pen in the corner of her mouth, deeming it a distraction.

A media liaison for Burns said the judge had given reporters ample warning that their phones could be yanked if they didn't remember to switch them to 'silent' during the trial for William Balfour, Hudson's former brother-in-law.

Balfour is accused of killing the actress and singer's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in a fit of jealous rage over his then-wife.

Hudson has attended each day of the trial, using a secret entrance to elude photographers. She eats in private and waits for proceedings to start in normally off-limits judge's chambers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.