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Jury selected in Alec Baldwin trial despite hours of delays

Alec Baldwin participates in a pretrial hearing in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on July 8, 2024. (ROSS D. FRANKLIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Alec Baldwin participates in a pretrial hearing in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on July 8, 2024. (ROSS D. FRANKLIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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A jury was selected on Tuesday in Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial for a deadly 2021 shooting on the New Mexico set of “Rust.”

Despite hours of delays,  — 11 women and five men — were sworn in just before 5 p.m. local time and told to return to the Santa Fe courthouse Wednesday morning for opening statements.

They’ll be tasked with deciding the fate of the 66-year-old actor, who faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted on the fourth-degree felony charge in connection to the accidental death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins nearly three years ago.

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Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on the set of "Rust" in 2021. In this photo, she attends the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Sonia Recchia/Getty Images
Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on the set of “Rust” in 2021. In this photo, she attends the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Baldwin, the star and co-producer of the film, was pointing a gun at Hutchins during a rehearsal for the Joel Souza-directed western at the Bonanza Creek Ranch on Oct. 21, 2021.

The gun went off, killing 42-year-old Hutchins and wounding Souza.

On Tuesday, Baldwin, his wife Hilaria and their infant daughter arrived at the courthouse , according to Variety.

Baldwin’s brother, “The Usual Suspects” star Stephen Baldwin, was also seen in the back of the courtroom.

In the morning, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer was confident jury selection would move swiftly. However, the questioning of potential jurors was , reported the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Once questioning did begin, it appeared as if selection could take longer than expected.

When the judge asked the pool of 70 prospects if they were familiar with the case — which has dominated headlines both locally and nationwide for years — all but two people raised their hands.

Others said they knew potential witnesses, including Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza, who’s expected to testify for the prosecution. Two others said they wouldn’t be able to be fair and impartial and were ultimately excused.

Still the panel was selected in a single day, which Baldwin’s defense said they also expected.

Actor Alec Baldwin, left, and attorney Luke Nikas, arrive for jury selection in his involuntary manslaughter trial, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in Santa Fe, N.M. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Actor Alec Baldwin, left, and attorney Luke Nikas, arrive for jury selection in his involuntary manslaughter trial, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in Santa Fe, N.M. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Jurors will now need to decide whether Baldwin acted negligently with the firearm.

Prosecutors had hoped to use Baldwin’s position as a co-producer on “Rust” to argue he acted recklessly and bore responsibility for the dangerous conditions that led to the shooting.

But during a pre-trial hearing on Monday, Judge Marlowe Sommer ruled Baldwin’s role as a producer was not relevant to the trial.

The trial is expected to conclude on July 19. The judge has insisted she’ll keep the lawyers in line and on schedule.

With News Wire Services

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