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'Rust' Shooting Trial Begins: Prosecution Claims Alec Baldwin 'Violated the Cardinal Rules of Firearm Safety'

alec baldwin was allegedly texting during firearms training for rust
Source: MEGA

Alec Baldwin's trial for his role in the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western film Rust kicked off in a Santa Fe, New Mexico courtroom on Wednesday.

Jul. 10 2024, Published 11:28 a.m. ET

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Alec Baldwin's trial for his role in the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western film Rust kicked off in a Santa Fe, New Mexico courtroom on Wednesday, RadarOnline.com has learned.

In October 2021, a prop firearm held by Baldwin fired, shooting a live round that killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. Baldwin has repeatedly claimed that he did not pull the trigger and the gun went off accidentally.

The actor, who also served as a producer on the movie, faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter, a felony. If convicted, he could face up to 18 months in prison. He has pleaded not guilty.

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alec baldwin horseplay fired gun crew prosecutors
Source: MEGA

Alec Baldwin allegedly “fired a blank round at a crew member” shortly before Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed on the set of "Rust."

Judge Mary Marlow Sommer opened the trial with jury instructions, reminding the 16 jurors of their "special responsibility" in the case and reading a copy of the grand jury indictment against Baldwin. The judge told jurors that the trial is expected to take eight days, not including the jury's deliberations.

"When someone plays make believe with a real gun in a real-life workplace and playing make believe with that gun violates the cardinal rules of firearms safety, peoples lives are in danger and someone could be killed," special prosecutor Erlinda Ocampo Johnson said during opening arguments. "That's what this case is about ... Simple and straightforward."

"The evidence will show that someone who played make believe with a real gun and violated the cardinal rules of firearm safety is the defendant, Alexander Baldwin," she continued, claiming that Baldwin requested "the biggest gun available," repeatedly demonstrated reckless behavior and breached safety protocol, and did in fact pull the trigger.

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alec baldwin wants hollywood pals testify rust trial armorer guilty
Source: Sante Fe County Sheriff's Office

Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was convicted for involuntary manslaughter earlier this month in connection to Hutchins's death.

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"This was an unspeakable tragedy but Alec Baldwin committed no crime. He was an actor, acting," the defense said in their opening statements. "These cardinal rules? They're not cardinal rules on a movie set ... real bullets are never supposed to be on movie sets."

Baldwin's wife Hilaria attended the trial to show her support. The couple walked in together before Baldwin took his seat in the dock and Hilaria sat in the first row of the public gallery. Baldwin's sister Beth and brother Stephen were also in attendance.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, Rust's head armorer, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter earlier this year following two weeks of testimony and less than three hours of deliberation. She received the maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.

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