Trial begins three years after ‘Rust’ film tragedy

Trial begins three years after ‘Rust’ film tragedy
Trial begins three years after ‘Rust’ film tragedy

Alec Baldwin in court: Trial begins three years after ‘Rust’ film tragedyEP

Despite his attempts to have the charges against him dropped, the American actor Alec Baldwin He will have to appear at the trial that begins this week before a court in Santa Fe (New Mexico, USA), charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of ‘Rust’.

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On October 21, 2021, A real bullet came out of the Colt .45 revolver, supposedly a ‘prop’, that Alec Baldwin was holding in one of the film’s rehearsals which he himself starred in and produced.

The bullet fatally struck Hutchins, 42, and wounded director Joel Souza in the shoulder.

Following the tragedy, Baldwin and the production’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, were charged with involuntary manslaughter and both pleaded not guilty.

Two counts of involuntary manslaughter

Specifically Baldwin is accused of two separate charges of manslaughter: one serious one accusing him of ‘total disregard or indifference to the safety of others’; and another rrelative to his ‘negligent use of a firearm’However, the actor can only be convicted of one.

Last March, Gutierrez-Reed was found guilty by prosecutors and sentenced to the maximum penalty, 18 months in prison, after the prosecution argued that she repeatedly violated security protocol.

A year earlier, Dave Halls, assistant director on “Rust,” took a plea deal on a charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon that resulted in six months of probation and a $500 fine.

Baldwin has maintained in interviews that he did not pull the trigger on the gun and that it went off on its own after he cocked it.but a forensic report commissioned by the prosecution, headed by Kari Morrissey, determined that the 66-year-old actor must have activated it for the gun to discharge.

Baldwin will now have to face justice. His trial is expected to begin on July 9 with jury selection and is expected to continue until July 19.

If convicted, the ’30 Rock’ actor could also face 18 months in prison and a fine of thousands of dollars.

A long and twisty process

The ‘Rust’ case has dragged on for a long time because there have been several twists in the accusation against Gutierrez-Reed and Baldwin.

Both were initially charged under a law that went into effect after the shooting, so prosecutors admitted their mistake and reduced the possible sentence from up to six and a half years in prison to a maximum of 18 months.

Furthermore, the sole charge against Baldwin was dismissed by the prosecutors in charge of the case in April 2023, because new facts had been revealed that required further analysis and forensic investigation, but in January of this year, the situation became complicated again for the interpreter when he was charged again with a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Since then, Baldwin’s legal team has tried repeatedly, but failed, to have the charge against him dismissed and thus halt the trial, arguing that the prosecution had destroyed evidence that could be critical to the defense and that this was preventing Baldwin from receiving a fair trial.

The replica of the revolver used in the shooting was discarded during tests conducted by the FBI at the request of the prosecution to determine the possibility that the weapon had fired itself as Baldwin indicated.but authorities said the weapon was functioning normally and that it would not have been fired without pulling the trigger, except in a very specific series of circumstances.

New Mexico State Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer denied Baldwin’s defense’s latest motion on June 29, arguing that The unaltered firearm “had no apparent exculpatory value” before it was damaged in forensic testing months after the deadly shooting.

Amid all the controversy, Baldwin recently announced that in 2025 he will premiere ‘The Baldwins’, a reality show that will follow the daily life of his family, made up of his wife and seven children.

 
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