Jury selection begins as acclaimed NM skier goes on trial

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Once a champion skier, Dean Cummings is now on trial facing alleged murder charges Tuesday.

Jury selection began for the New Mexico skier, who was detained by Sandoval County deputies on February 29, 2020, when they say he shot and killed Guillermo Arriola. Cummings was charged with murder, concealing his identity and tampering with evidence.

The criminal complaint states Cummings told deputies he got into an argument with Arriola, whose property he tried to buy and where the shooting happened. Cummings allegedly said he shot Arriola with an AR-15 rifle after Arriola sprayed him in the face with a chemical.

In June 2020, a judge ruled Cummings incompetent to stand trial and that he be committed to a state behavioral institute in Las Vegas. Then in March 2021, he was found competent to stand trial.

Throughout 2022, work has been done to bring Cummings to trial but now, as November begins, jury selection has also begun.