Hudson Star Power to Complicate Murder Trial

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Accustomed to wearing Vera Wang gowns on red carpets, singing at the Grammys or autographing her weight-loss memoir, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson will take on a new role under a very different spotlight — in Chicago’s drab criminal courts building at the trial of the man charged with murdering her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew.

The Hollywood star’s presence, and the accompanying media hubbub, is bound to affect the proceedings, which begin Monday. That’s when presiding Judge Charles Burns plans to start questioning would-be jurors one by one, trying to weed out anyone who could be swayed by Hudson’s celebrity status.

Hudson is expected to be at the trial every day once testimony begins, court officials say, and she’s on the 300-name list of witnesses who could testify. While the judge will warn prospective jurors to avoid watching TV coverage of the trial, they may see Hudson on “American Idol” on Thursday.

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