We previously reported that The Walking Dead was in trial this week, defending the case against allegations that it was at fault for the death of stuntman, John Bernecker. We also discussed the issues. One defendant to the case is star, Austin Amelio, who was next two Bernecker before Bernecker’s fatal fall.
Amelio was on the small balcony filming a scene with stuntman John Bernecker in 2017 when Bernecker fell over, missing the protective pads underneath by two feet and landing on the concrete head-first. He died two days later from the severe head injuries.
“I saw the whole thing, I was in complete and utter shock,” Amelio told the jury Friday in emotional testimony at the wrongful death trial of The Walking Dead stuntman. “It was the worst day of my life.”
AMC’s legal team argued Bernecker’s death stemmed from human error on the stuntman’s part when he grasped the rail and held on during his flip off the balcony.
That grasping movement became a focal point in the line of questioning among multiple witnesses. It was argued whether or not Amelio touched Bernecker with his prop gun just before his fall.
“Absolutely not,” Amelio said.
Earlier in the testimony, Amelio recalled that stunt coordinator Monty Simons instructed him not to touch Bernecker and to stand behind him.
“The only thing I remember is, ‘Do not touch him,’” Amelio said.
Griffin Freeman, a local Atlanta actor, played the villain killed by Dwight for whom Bernecker was a stunt double, supported Amelio’s claim that there was no touching. Amelio went on to praise the stunt coordinator, Simons, saying, “I think Monty is an excellent stunt coordinator.”
Amelio was the first witness of the defense’s witnesses. The case will continue into next week with closing arguments scheduled for Tuesday.
What are your thoughts on the trial? Let us know in the comments below.