Jennifer Hudson broke down in tears several times as she took the witness stand Monday in the Chicago trial of her former brother-in-law, William Balfour.
Balfour is accused of killing the singer's mother, brother and nephew.
The trial's first witness, "American Idol" finalist and Oscar-winning "Dreamgirls" star Hudson testified that her family was apprehensive about her sister, Julia Hudson, marrying Balfour (pictured).
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"None of us wanted her to marry him," Hudson told the court, according to USA Today. "We did not like how he treated her."
Hudson is expected to be present for each day of testimony of the trial, which could last a month.
Balfour, who split from Hudson's sister in 2008, is accused of shooting Hudson's mother Darnell Donerson and brother Jason in the family's Chicago home, then stealing Jason's SUV with Hudson's seven-year-old nephew Julian King in captivity and fatally shooting him.
According to prosecutors, Balfour had threatened the Hudson family previously and committed the murders in October of that year after seeing balloons at his estranged wife's home, assuming that they were from her new boyfriend, and flying into a jealous rage.
He's accused of shooting Donerson and Jason in the family's Chicago-area home, then stealing the Jason Hudson's SUV with King in captivity and fatally shooting him. King's body was found in the vehicle several miles from the home.
TMZ reports that Hudson broke into tears when asked when she last saw her family (she testified that she had seen them just days before the murders), and again when she was handed a picture of her mother by a prosecutor.
Balfour's defense attorney, Amy Thompson, told the court that DNA found on the alleged murder weapon and finger prints inside the vehicle didn't match Balfour. She also said that police hastily pinned charges on Balfour because they felt pressure to come up with a culprit after it became known that singer/actress Hudson had ties to the case.
"As soon as that became known, they knew coverage would explode," Thompson said. "The police were on the hook. They had to find their man and find him fast."
Balfour, who has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and was on parole at the time of the killings, faces a mandatory life sentence if found guilty on just two of the counts.