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Jury selection starts in train crash

Attorneys begin interviews to find 12 people to decide fate of man accused of causing 2005 wreck.

March 24, 2008|By Jeremy ObersteinThe Leader

Alvarez’s state of mind could be key to his case, as his attorneys maintain that when he parked his car on the train tracks, it was an aborted act of suicide, which will be proven by tire treads showing he tried to reverse, attorneys said.

After jurors were excused and Alvarez returned to his temporary cell in the courthouse, Pounders discussed with attorneys the status of evidence that the defense is due to present to the prosecution.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Patrick Dixon complained that the list of potential witnesses and the topics they are due to discuss was “blatantly incomplete.”

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“This was due 30 days before juror selection,” said Dixon, who was sitting in for lead prosecutor Deputy Dist. Atty. John Monaghan. “This is incomplete and not proper.”

Pounders ordered defense attorneys to complete their evidence compilation by Wednesday.

“The prosecution is entitled to know what you have,” he said. “They’ve got work to do too to verify and counter if necessary.”

Belter told Dixon that he was waiting for complete reports from his investigators, a process that has been complicated by the time spent interviewing witnesses in Mexico who are expected to testify about Alvarez’s suicidal tendencies as a child.

Jury selection is expected to continue Wednesday, and the trial is set to begin April 14 and go into July, Pounders said.

•?JEREMY OBERSTEIN covers public safety. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at jeremy.oberstein@latimes.com.

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