Hudson star power to complicate murder trial

CHICAGO (AP) -- Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson's next big role will be 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 in 2008.

Hudson's presence is bound to affect the proceedings, which begin Monday. That's when presiding Judge Charles Burns plans to start questioning would-be jurors, trying to weed out anyone who could be swayed by Hudson's celebrity status.

Legal experts widely agree on the No. 1 challenge at trials involving megastars: Identifying 12 jurors able and willing to assess guilt solely on what's heard in court.

Hudson is expected to be at the trial every day once testimony begins, court officials say. She's also on a list of witnesses who might testify.


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