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Trial after death on film set: Jury selected in criminal trial against Alec Baldwin

Trial after death on film set: Jury selected in criminal trial against Alec Baldwin
Trial after death on film set: Jury selected in criminal trial against Alec Baldwin

The jury in the criminal trial against Hollywood star Alec Baldwin has been chosen. Eleven women and five men have been selected as jurors. The opening statements will now continue.

A jury of twelve and four alternate jurors have been found in the criminal trial against Alec Baldwin (66), and the opening statements can now continue in the court in Santa Fe (US state of New Mexico). According to a court spokesman, eleven women and five men were selected on Tuesday (local time). Baldwin, who is accused of negligent homicide after a fatal shooting on the set of the western “Rust”, attended the jury selection. His wife, Hilaria Baldwin (40), and one of his brothers, actor Stephen Baldwin (58), were also in the courtroom, as journalists present reported.

The jurors are all citizens of New Mexico, but their identities remain secret in accordance with strict court rules. They were selected from a pool of more than 70 people. Representatives of the prosecution and defense asked questions such as how they felt about gun ownership and whether they owned a gun themselves. Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer wanted to know from the candidates how many were familiar with the case. Only two people said they had not heard anything about it before.

The fatal incident on the Western set

The charges stem from a shooting incident on the set of the western “Rust”. On October 21, 2021, lead actor Baldwin pulled out a revolver during rehearsals. But instead of harmless cartridges, live ammunition went off. The bullet pierced camerawoman Halyna Hutchins (42) and then hit director Joel Souza, who was standing behind her, on the shoulder. The mother of a then nine-year-old son died shortly afterwards, while Souza escaped with minor injuries.

Baldwin denies allegations

At the arraignment in January, Baldwin pleaded not guilty. In interviews, the actor and producer had previously asserted that he did not pull the trigger of the gun. The defense suggests that the gun may have been damaged and the shot fired without Baldwin’s intervention. The star of films such as “The Hunt for Red October” and “Blue Jasmine” could not have assumed that the gun contained live ammunition, argue his lawyers. The prosecution, in turn, is likely to accuse Baldwin of not checking the gun, ignoring safety regulations and endangering others through carelessness.

Previous guilty verdict against gunsmith

The judge has scheduled the trial for just under two weeks. Cameras are permitted – the proceedings will be made available to the public via live stream. Filmmakers, investigators and weapons experts are expected to take the stand. It is not yet known whether Baldwin will testify himself. In the end, twelve jurors will have to reach a verdict. If found guilty, Baldwin faces up to 18 months in prison.

In a separate trial, gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was responsible for gun safety on the set of “Rust,” was found guilty of negligent homicide. She had loaded the gun, which contained live ammunition. In April, she was sentenced to the maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.

Source: Stern

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