Alec Baldwin: “Rust” trial against actor starts on Tuesday

Alec Baldwin: “Rust” trial against actor starts on Tuesday
Alec Baldwin: “Rust” trial against actor starts on Tuesday

His lawyers had desperately tried to prevent a trial. But on Tuesday things will get serious for Alec Baldwin. The actor must answer for the death of a camerawoman on the set of his film “Rust”.

It was almost three years ago that a terrible accident occurred on October 21, 2021 during the filming of the western “Rust”. Camerawoman Halyna Hutchins was hit by a bullet from a revolver and died shortly afterwards. Pulling the trigger: actor and producer of the film, Alec Baldwin. The 66-year-old will go on trial on Tuesday.

What is Alec Baldwin accused of?

The prosecution accuses him of negligent homicide. During a rehearsal in a small church on the grounds of the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a popular western filming location in New Mexico, he pointed a gun at Hutchins. Instead of harmless blanks, a real shot went off, killing her and wounding director Joel Souza in the shoulder. Baldwin said he pulled the hammer back but did not pull the trigger, and the gun discharged accidentally.

How did the live ammunition get to the film set?

Officially, it has not been determined who brought the real cartridges to the film set. The fact is that investigators found a total of six real cartridges among the blanks and so-called dummy cartridges on the set. In a previous trial against “Rust’s gunsmith”, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, prosecutors claimed that she was responsible. She was convicted of negligent homicide and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

How does Alec Baldwin react to the allegations?

The actor maintains his innocence. Just a few weeks later, he stated in a TV interview: “I didn’t pull the trigger.” He would never point a gun at a person and pull the trigger. He had “no idea” how the live ammunition found its way into the gun. After an initial indictment against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed in January 2023, the charges against the actor were initially dropped three months later. However, according to a report by firearms experts, the trigger must have been pulled. With new evidence in hand, the prosecution took action against Baldwin again in January 2024 – he again pleaded “not guilty.”

Where will the process take place and how long is it expected to take?

The trial will take place in the Santa Fe District Court, just 30 kilometers from the film ranch. Nine days of the trial have been scheduled. Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer emphasized that she will keep the lawyers on track and on schedule. Jury selection begins on Tuesday, with opening statements on Wednesday and expected to end the following Friday.

What is Alec Baldwin accused of?

As the lead actor and producer of the low-budget western, the prosecution blamed the actor and other film participants for a lack of safety on the set. They believe that as an actor he was careless with his weapon. The producers ignored precautions in order to make a quick buck, they said.

Who is expected to testify in the Alec Baldwin trial?

The key statements will come from the crew members who were eyewitnesses to Hutchins inside the small church building at the time of the crime.’ They include director Joel Souza and assistant director David Halls. Zac Sneesby, a crew member who held a boom microphone during the rehearsal, will testify that he saw Baldwin pull the trigger of the gun, prosecutors said in court documents, making him potentially the most important witness of all. Jurors will also hear testimony from firearms experts who say the gun was functioning properly and could not have been fired without pulling the trigger. Baldwin himself may or may not take the stand in his defense.

What punishment does Alec Baldwin face?

If found guilty unanimously, the actor faces up to 18 months in prison.

Will the trial be broadcast live?

Yes. As is common in many proceedings in the USA, cameras are allowed in this courtroom. The proceedings will be broadcast live around the world.

Judge refused to dismiss proceedings against Alec Baldwin

Baldwin’s lawyers had tried to prevent a trial against him until the very end. They had argued that the gun from which the shot was fired had been damaged during subsequent investigations by FBI investigators. This meant that they would be missing a potentially exculpatory piece of evidence in their client’s defense. The defense had previously complained of formal errors in a motion to dismiss the case, which also failed. But the judge refused to dismiss the case.

Regardless of the trial and a possible prison sentence, Baldwin announced a new family project at the beginning of June. The reality show “The Baldwins” will start next year on the US broadcaster TLC, the couple announced in a video on Instagram. “We invite you into our home to experience our highs and lows, the good, the bad, the wild and the crazy.”

Alec Baldwin – Animation of the accident during the filming of "Rust"

Alec Baldwin: Animation to show fatal shot during “Rust” filming

01:17 min

Watch the video above: This animation is supposed to show the fatal shot on the set of the western “Rust”. A few months after the fatal accident in October 2021, the family of camerawoman Halyna Hutchins reportedly filed a lawsuit against Hollywood star Alec Baldwin.

Sources: with dpa

Source: Stern

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