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Trial begins for Marine reservist charged with killing Emerson College student

QUANTICO, Virginia ― The trial for a Marine reservist charged with the 2019 killing of an Emerson College student in Boston began Monday aboard Marine Corps Quantico, Virginia.

Marine Lance Cpl. Samuel London allegedly was involved in a confrontation with 19-year-old Daniel Hollis after a September 2019 party. At some point during the fight Hollis fell and hit his head on concrete.

Hollis was rushed to the hospital but died from his injuries in October 2019.

London has been charged with one count of murder, one count with two specifications of assault consummated by battery and one count of the wrongful use of a controlled substance.

London, a reservist with the 25th Marines based out of Fort Devens, Massachusetts, was on predeployment leave when the incident occurred, Marine Corps Times previously reported.

In February 2020, a Suffolk County, Massachusetts, grand jury opted not to indict London for his alleged role in Hollis’ death, leading the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to up the case in June 2020.

The trial is scheduled to take as long as two weeks and possibly will call more than 40 witnesses. It started Monday with jury selection, along with a few hints of what the defense has in store.

The defense and prosecution teams asked potential jurors their opinion on how alcohol and cocaine contribute to potentially violent behavior along with their view on whether self defense is a justifiable reason to be involved in a fight.

The Marines selected to sit on the jury all said they would take an unbiased look at the evidence of this case and apply the law as instructed by the Marine Corps Judge Lt. Col. Michael Zimmerman.

After selecting the eight members of the jury and one alternate, the case was dismissed for the day.

The defense and prosecution teams are expected to begin opening arguments on Tuesday.

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