- (Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri)
Jurors are currently being seated for the murder trial that will weigh the fate of 30 year-old William Balfour, who has been accused of the 2008 slayings of Jennifer Hudson's family members.
Balfour is accused of killing Hudson's 57 year-old mother, 29 year-old brother, and 7 year-old nephew who were all found shot dead in Chicago. Fourteen members of the jury were selected on Monday; a total of 12 jury members will be seated with an additional six alternatives.
Hudson has insisted that she intends to attend trial proceedings on a daily basis, a process which could take over three weeks.
Hudson became famous after losing American Idol only to be later cast in "Dream Girls" for which she won an Oscar award. Since then the singer and actress has drawn an impressive following, but some commentators are saying that her fame will draw too much attention, and could be too much power for the court room, and as a result will have an affect on the proceedings.
"Star power always matters. The prosecutor wants her there and the defense does not want her there," criminal defense attorney Troy Slaten, who is not involved in the case, told E! News. "The jury could be looking at her reactions, if she is crying, how she reacts to certain testimony. They are going to be very aware of her presence."
While the jury has been carefully selected and asked many questions, some which pertain to their familiarity with the star in order to ensure a fair trial, Hudson's mere presence may cause a mistrial.
"The risk is that jurors may be watching her rather than testifying witnesses, and they could be influenced by how she reacts," Gerald Uelmen, a defense attorney at O.J. Simpson's murder trial, told the Huffington Post. "She would be well advised not to engage in any facial expressions or outbursts. That could be grounds for a mistrial."