Juror Queries Begin in Hudson Trial, 14 Jurors Chosen - FOX 32 News Chicago

Juror Queries Begin in Hudson Family Murder Trial, 14 Jurors Chosen

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A high profile crime case is taking center stage in Chicago. Jury selection resumes in the trial of a man accused of killing the mother, brother, and nephew of singer and actress Jennifer Hudson.

Jennifer Hudson's megastar celebrity status was expected to pose a challenge in finding an unbiased jury. But numerous potential jurors interviewed Monday insisted they could give William Balfour a fair trial.

The jury selection process in the case against William Balfour is going smoothly, but very slowly. Presiding judge Charles Burns chose 14 jurors Monday.

The panel is shaping up to be a diverse one, including five white jurors, two Asian American jurors, four African American juror and three Hispanic jurors so far.

Among those who will be deciding Balfour's case, there's a suburban school teacher, a physical therapist, and a customer service rep from a chocolate company.

Judge Burns said in open court he's really only concerned if perspective jurors can be fair and unbiased.

During questioning by the attorneys and Judge Burns, several potential jurors said they had no idea who Jennifer Hudson is.

The first potential worked for a concert promoter. Judge Burns asked him if Hudson were to have a concert in Chicago, would he work on it. The man said it was possible.

That juror was dismissed, but for reasons of hardship.

Another was dismissed after admitting, "I am a fan of Jennifer Hudson and I feel bad for what has happened to her."

There will be special security measures when Hudson attends the trial in a couple weeks. The court wants to minimize any distractions that Hudson's celebrity status might cause.

She is expected to attend the trial when testimony begins, and she is listed as a potential witness.

Balfour, 30, has been present for the questioning, sitting across the table from the jurors wearing a blue dress shirt. He sat without expression through the questioning.

He pleaded guilty to murdering Hudson's mother, Darnell Donnerson, her brother Jason, and her 7-year-old nephew Julian in a jealous rage in October of 2008.

The adults were found shot to death in their South Side home. The boy was found in an automobile a few days later.

Prosecutors said Balfour was jealous that his ex, Hudson's sister Julia, was dating another man.

Legal experts said the trial will involve days of testimony over DNA evidence and gun powder residue.

There are 150 possible jurors to choose from and prosecutors believe jury selection will take two to three days. Opening statements are set for April 23.

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