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Jennifer Hudson

Jury Divided

In Family Murder Trial

5/11/2012 1:35 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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1:40 PM PT -- Imagine that ... just minutes after claiming they were "split," the jury HAS REACHED A VERDICT -- scheduled to be announced in 45 minutes.

2:20 PM PT -- Jennifer Hudson just arrived at court.

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The jury in the trial of William Balfour -- the man accused of murdering Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother, and 7-year-old nephew back in 2008 -- just told the judge they're "split" ... unable to reach a verdict after days of deliberations.

A verdict was originally expected on Wednesday -- when the jury first retreated for deliberations -- but it's been two full days ... and still, they're stuck.

But the judge won't accept a hung jury ... yet ... and has ordered them to keep working toward a verdict.

31-year-old Balfour stands accused of the triple murder after allegedly flying into a blind and jealous rage over a balloon gift for Julia Hudson, Balfour's ex and Jennifer's sister.

Prosecutors say Balfour thought the gift was from Julia's new boyfriend and he snapped. Balfour has pled not guilty to the murders.  

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