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There had been questions for a while about whether Jennifer Hudson would take the stand in her family’s murder case and today she was the first witness called to testify at the start of the trial.

William Balfour, 30, the estranged husband of Jennifer’s sister, Julia, is standing trial on first-degree murder charges for killing J Hud’s mother, Darnell Donerson, her brother Jason Hudson, and 7-year-old nephew Julian King back in October 2008. Today, she told the jury she knew William wasn’t right for her sister.

“I told her over and over again to not marry him,” Jennifer said. “We did not like how he treated her.”

Jennifer reportedly became overcome with emotion at one point and shed a few tears on the stand as she told the court how she “talked to her [mother] every single day,” and described the last time the family was all together.

“It was my mother, my brother, my sister and my dog,” she said, explaining that they had paid a surprise welcome visit to her home. “I was so surprised. The whole family is here.

“That was the last time I saw them,” she said, crying. “Thank God I had the opportunity.”

Jennifer’s fiancé David Otunga was in the courtroom along with other Hudson family members for moral support. So far, the trial for William, who has plead not guilty to the charges, is expected to last four weeks.

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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