Hudson murder trial jury could be in place soon

April 10, 2012 12:16:36 PM PDT
A jury could be seated Tuesday in the trial of William Balfour, the man accused of murdering Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew in 2008.

The jury selection process, which began last week, has moved quickly. Within nine hours Monday, the judge and attorneys chose 14 jurors and dismissed 10, mostly because of their financial concerns about missing work for a month, which is how long the trial could last.

Four more alternate jurors were needed Tuesday as the main 12 were already chosen. Eventually, there will be 12 jurors and six at alternates.

The judge interviewed approximately 45 people Monday to get 14 jurors.

The jury will decide the fate of William Balfour, the estranged brother-in-law of Jennifer Hudson. Judge Charles Burns and attorneys are paying careful attention to finding jurors who are not star-struck or too sympathetic to the singer and actress.

One woman said she was a fan and could not be fair. She was dismissed.

However, one of the 14 jurors chosen was a woman who said she did not recognize Jennifer Hudson or know about the case.

Some others also said they did not recognize Jennifer Hudson.

So far, the jury is diverse, composed of seven men and seven women of various backgrounds and occupations. Also chosen were a physical therapist in her 40s and a math teacher who is related to a former state's attorney's office employee.

Another group of 20 to 35 potential jurors was being screened Tuesday.

ABC7 Chicago talked to a juror from another high-profile case, the Browns Chicken murders, and he believed the jury just paid attention to the evidence.

"We would concentrate on the evidence and decide, let the evidence decide the outcome," said John Polishak.

Tuesday's jury selection process began at 10 a.m. It is possible the jury could be in place by the end of the day.

Jennifer Hudson is expected to attend the trial, which begins Monday, April 23. She is on the witness list, but that does not mean she will testify.

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