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Jennifer Hudson's Brother-In-Law 'Threatened To Kill Her Family 25 Times'

April 24th, 2012 7:16pm EDT

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson's estranged brother-in-law threatened to murder the star's sister and her family 25 times after they separated in early 2008, a court has heard.

William Balfour, who is married to the singer/actress' older sibling Julia, stands accused of murdering Hudson's mother, brother and nephew in October, 2008.  His trial began in Chicago, Illinois on Monday and the Oscar winner was the first witness called to testify against the suspect.

During her emotional evidence, a tearful Hudson recalled how she had warned Julia against exchanging vows with Balfour, telling the court, "I told her over and over again to not marry him. We did not like how he treated her."

Julia Hudson then took the stand and told the court how her marriage to Balfour crumbled as a result of his infidelity.  Prosecutors claim that when she walked out on him in February, 2008, Balfour said, "Julia, if you leave, I'll kill you. I'll kill your family first and then I'll kill you - you will be the last to die."

He is also alleged to have threatened the Hudson family's lives more than two dozen times in the months leading up to the October slayings, which took place on the morning after Julia's birthday.

She told the court Balfour turned up outside her bedroom window on that fateful day and flew into a jealous rage after seeing balloons he believed had been given to Julia by her new boyfriend.

Defense lawyer Amy Thompson insisted Balfour was innocent and alleged Hudson's brother Jason had been a drug dealer, suggesting the killings were the result of a narcotics deal gone wrong. She claimed Hudson's fame put pressure on police to make an arrest and they pinned the crime on Balfour, despite failing to find DNA, fingerprint evidence or gunshot residue to link him to the murders.

The trial continues.

Photo Credits: PR Photos