Alec Baldwin’s Involuntary Manslaughter Trial Begins with Jury Selection

Alec Baldwin’s Involuntary Manslaughter Trial Begins with Jury Selection

Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial is set to commence on Wednesday after a rigorous jury selection process at the Santa Fe County District Courthouse. The panel, consisting of 12 jurors and four alternates, was finalized on Tuesday evening after extensive questioning. The jury comprises eleven women and five men who will ultimately determine the fate of the 66-year-old actor-producer. Baldwin, who pleaded not guilty to the felony charge, was indicted by a grand jury in January following the accidental shooting on October 21, 2021, during the filming of the western movie “Rust.” The tragic incident resulted in the death of 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

During the jury selection, Baldwin sat attentively at the defense table, accompanied by his legal team, while his wife, Hilaria, and brother Stephen Baldwin observed from the back row of the courtroom. The trial, expected to last eight days, will be broadcast live by Court TV. The outcome holds significant consequences for Baldwin, as a guilty verdict could lead to a prison sentence of up to 18 months and potentially impact his career, with the actor claiming to have lost acting roles since the tragedy.

The proceedings began with 70 potential jurors being sworn in by First Judicial District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer. She described the charge against Baldwin as a “negligent use of a firearm.” Most jurors indicated familiarity with the case, except for three individuals. Special prosecutor Kari T. Morrissey inquired about jurors’ involvement in the film industry, their stance on firearms, and possession of concealed weapons permits. Both the prosecution and defense sought to assess the jurors’ ability to remain impartial and make decisions without being swayed by sympathy for the tragic elements of the case.

Baldwin’s attorney, Alex Spiro, questioned the potential jurors about their difficulty in making decisions without sympathy and their views on relying on experts. Baldwin maintains that he was not responsible for Hutchins’ death, asserting that he relied on the on-set professionals responsible for safety, including the film’s weapons expert Hannah Gutierrez and assistant director David Halls. Gutierrez was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in March for loading the gun that caused Hutchins’ death, while Halls accepted a plea deal for negligent use of a deadly weapon.

Some prospective jurors challenged Spiro’s argument, emphasizing the importance of gun users personally checking their weapons. One juror firmly rejected the notion of relying solely on experts, stating that ensuring a gun is real and unloaded does not require specialized knowledge. Another juror highlighted the importance of treating any gun, real or fake, as a loaded weapon.

With over 40 journalists from various television networks and news outlets present, the trial is anticipated to be the most-publicized criminal prosecution in New Mexico’s history. The jury selection process was closely monitored via closed-circuit TV. The judge ruled on Monday that Baldwin’s dual role as a producer on the film would not be made an issue during the trial. Prosecutors had sought to establish his partial responsibility for maintaining a safe work environment and his alleged failure to recognize the armorer’s struggles in overseeing the guns.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. This is such an important trial that deserves attention. I will definitely share this post on my social media accounts to help spread the word and promote it. It’s crucial that people are aware of the developments in this case. Thank you for providing this information!

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