Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ Trial Live: Opening Statements Begin as Brother Stephen Sits Behind Actor in Court

Video: Alec Baldwin spotted on the set of Rust after

Opening statements will be heard today in the high-profile trial of Alec Baldwin over the fatal shooting on the set of the film Rust.

It’s been nearly three years since a rehearsal for a shooting scene in the Western film ended tragically when a prop gun Baldwin was holding went off, killing cameraman Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

Baldwin, 66, has maintained that he did not pull the trigger on the gun and did not know it contained a live bullet. He claims the bullet was fired accidentally.

He is charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the October 2021 incident. If found guilty, he faces up to 18 months in prison.

A jury of 12 people was appointed on Tuesday to decide the fate of the Hollywood actor.

Baldwin arrived at the Santa Fe courthouse flanked by his wife Hilaria — who had brought the couple’s baby — and his brother Stephen.

The high-profile trial comes three months after the film’s gunmaker, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in April and sentenced to the maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.

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Attorney Gloria Allred speaks out in court

Gloria Allred, attorney for Halyna Hutchins’ parents and sister, speaks out in court.

Andrea CavallierJuly 10, 2024 4:25 PM

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The Public Prosecution Service begins with the opening

Special Prosecutor Erlinda Johnson has begun her opening statement.

“When someone pretends, with a real weapon.

And that person ignores the cardinal rule of gun safety… People die.”

Johnson says the budget for “Rust” was tight and the crew was inexperienced.

Andrea CavallierJuly 10, 2024 4:22 PM

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Stephen Baldwin sits behind his brother Alec Baldwin in court

Stephen Baldwin, the actor brother of Alec Baldwin, sits behind him in court on Wednesday.

Opening statements are expected to be made shortly.

Andrea CavallierJuly 10, 2024 3:52 PM

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Day 2 of Alec Baldwin’s trial begins now

Court resumed for a second day in the trial of Alec Baldwin in Santa Fe. A jury was selected Tuesday.

Baldwin is in court and will begin his opening statement shortly.

The hearing can be streamed live here:

Andrea CavallierJuly 10, 2024 3:49 PM

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Prosecutors say they will present evidence that Baldwin ‘went off script’

Prosecutors say they will present evidence that Baldwin went “off script” and failed to follow basic gun safety standards when he pointed the gun at Hutchins on Oct. 21, 2021.

“Ultimately, the prosecution’s main theory is that there was a gun involved, and Baldwin had a gun in his hand, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a movie set or a hunting safety course, you’re responsible for what comes out of the barrel,” said John Day, a Santa Fe attorney and former prosecutor.

Testimony at the trial will examine flaws in a final safety check of the weapon before Baldwin began practicing with it, as well as the mechanics of the weapon and whether it could have gone off without a trigger pull. The live bullet that killed Hutchins also wounded director Joel Souza.

Andrea CavallierJuly 10, 2024 3:45 PM

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Who is the jury in the Alec Baldwin trial?

Prosecutors and defense attorneys selected 16 jurors — 11 women and five men — on Tuesday, putting together a jury from a region with strong currents of gun ownership and safety informed by wilderness hunting.

Four jurors are considered alternates, while the remaining twelve deliberate once they are assigned the case.

The shooting death of camerawoman Halyna Hutchins, a 42-year-old rising star in her field, sent shockwaves through the film industry nearly three years ago, leading to charges against Baldwin that could land him in prison for up to 18 months.

Baldwin attorney Alex Spiro on Tuesday questioned potential jurors about their strong views on gun safety, asking whether a person should take full responsibility for whether a gun is loaded or whether they can “rely on experts. Does anyone have a problem with that?”

Most of those who responded said they always treat a gun as if it were loaded.

Andrea CavallierJuly 10, 2024 3:29 PM

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Alec Baldwin arrives at the courthouse for his opening statement

Andrea CavallierJuly 10, 2024 3:18 PM

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Opening statements are expected to begin today

Opening statements in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Alec Baldwin are expected to begin today.

A jury was selected Tuesday. The Hollywood actor arrived at the Santa Fe courthouse Tuesday morning with his wife Hilaria and their youngest child.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer said the trial is expected to last only nine days.

Andrea CavallierJuly 10, 2024 2:00 PM

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What happened to gun designer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed?

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, a film gunsmith, received the maximum sentence of 18 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a cameraman by Alec Baldwin on the set of a Western film.

A New Mexico judge ruled that Gutierrez-Reed’s recklessness amounted to a serious violent crime, saying there had been little evidence of genuine remorse from the defendant since her conviction in March.

Prosecutors accuse Gutierrez-Reed of unknowingly bringing live ammunition onto the set of “Rust,” where it was expressly prohibited, and of failing to follow basic gun safety protocols.

Andrea CavallierJuly 10, 2024 1:00 PM

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What is Alec Baldwin’s defense?

Baldwin brings with him an elite team of lawyers, mostly from New York, many of whom are Harvard Law graduates and work for the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

Alex Spiro, a 41-year-old attorney who has represented Elon Musk, Megan Thee Stallion and other notable figures and who has become one of the country’s most sought-after lawyers, will aggressively question the state’s witnesses.

The defense will attempt to show that it is not an actor’s job to make sure there are no live bullets in his gun. This position is strongly supported by Baldwin’s union, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Baldwin said in an interview with ABC News, and implied as much in interviews with authorities, that he never pulled the trigger on the revolver.

His lawyers will also challenge the evidence about the gun, arguing that the serious damage done to the revolver during an FBI test amounts to destroying evidence and giving the defense no chance to examine it.

Firearms experts for the prosecution who testified at Gutierrez-Reed’s trial will return to the stand, over Baldwin’s objections, to testify about his handling of the revolver and whether the weapon functioned properly.

And they can pressure witnesses to determine whether Hutchins received proper medical treatment between the shooting and the announcement of her death at the hospital.

Andrea CavallierJuly 10, 2024 12:00

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