Jury Selection Begins in Alec Baldwin Involuntary Manslaughter Trial

Seventy prospective jurors in Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter Rust trial were questioned by New Mexico Judge Mary Marlowe Sommers on Tuesday.

The start of jury selection began about two and a half hours later than expected because of issues involving the sound system in the Santa Fe courtroom, New Mexico courts spokesperson Barry Massey confirmed to Newsweek.

Baldwin, 66, wore a grey suit, dark tie, white shirt with glasses and neatly combed hair. He sat in the back of the courtroom with his wife, Hilaria, and his brother Stephen.

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Actor Alec Baldwin, left, and wife Hilaria Baldwin, holding their child, arrive for jury selection in his involuntary manslaughter trial, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The judge read the involuntary manslaughter charge against Baldwin stemming from the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the western movie Rust in October 2021, according to the Associated Press.

Halyna Hutchins
PARK CITY, UT – JANUARY 19: Filmmaker Halyna Hutchins attends the 2018 Sundance Film Festival Official Kickoff Party Hosted By SundanceTV at Sundance TV HQ on January 19, 2018 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by…

Mat Hayward/Getty Images for AMC Networks

He could face up to 18 months in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He has pled not guilty to his charge. On Monday, the judge ruled in favor of the defense that Baldwin’s secondary role as a producer on the film is not relevant in this trial.

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Actor Stephen Baldwin, brother of actor Alec Baldwin, exits the courthouse, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in Santa Fe, N.M. Baldwin was at the court for the jury selection of Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial.

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Sommers proceeded to ask the potential jurors questions to rule out anyone who could not serve due to certain issues. All but two people claimed they were already familiar with the case and one potential juror claimed they knew the defense attorneys, AP reports.

The judge asked for a show of hands of people who do not feel they cannot be fair or unbiased, and two hands went up. Those people were dismissed from the trial.

More than 15 people come forward with alleged scheduling conflicts and obligations, ranging from planned medical procedures, a vacation with plane tickets purchased, child and elderly care obligations, scheduled surgeries, and more.

At least six people approached the judge, claiming they had issues with exposure to media coverage that might influence others in the trial, AP reports. They were also asked about views on firearms when one woman stated she hated firearms. Many others acknowledged owning firearms and very few expressed strong opinions about guns.

Alec Baldwin 'Rust' trial jury selection
Alec Baldwin listens to testimony during a pretrial hearing at the First Judicial District Courthouse on July 8, 2024 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Getty Images

Seemingly while jury selection was underway on Tuesday, Baldwin posted to Instagram, endorsing Democratic Senator for Rhode Island Sheldon Whitehouse as vice president.

Whitehouse has served as the junior United States senator from Rhode Island since 2007. He has not expressed intent to run for vice president in the 2024 election but will seek a fourth term in the Senate.

Opening arguments in Baldiwn’s trial are expected to take place on Wednesday.

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