Trial Date Set for July in Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ Shooting Case

Credits: New York Post

Actor Alec Baldwin‘s manslaughter trial for the 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during the filming of the movie “Rust” is set for July 10, as ruled by a New Mexico judge on Monday.

If Mr. Baldwin’s case goes to trial, it would be a rare instance in Hollywood where an actor faces criminal responsibility for an on-set shooting. This is particularly noteworthy as charges against Mr. Baldwin have already been dropped once.

Halyna Hutchins died when a live round was fired from the reproduction Colt .45 revolver Mr. Baldwin was rehearsing with, also injuring director Joel Souza.

Alec Baldwin (Credits: PM News Nigeria)

The armorer for “Rust,” Hannah Gutierrez, is facing trial for allegedly bringing the live round onto the set and failing to detect it due to what prosecutors described as “sloppy and unprofessional” work. Ms. Gutierrez claimed she loaded the live round into Mr. Baldwin’s gun, mistaking it for a dummy round.

Both Mr. Baldwin and Ms. Gutierrez face involuntary manslaughter charges. Ms. Gutierrez’s defense argues that she is being made a scapegoat for Mr. Baldwin’s failure to adhere to firearms safety rules and for the chaotic nature of the low-budget production.

During Ms. Gutierrez’s trial, a “Rust” camera crew member, Ross Addiego, tearfully recounted the moment of the shooting, describing the panic and chaos that ensued. He claimed that safety checks were often skipped on the set to meet production goals.

Mr. Baldwin has denied responsibility for Hutchins’ death and plans to file a motion for charges to be dismissed, arguing that a grand jury did not follow certain rules when reinstating charges against him in January.

In contrast to Mr. Baldwin’s initial statements, FBI firearms expert Bryce Ziegler testified that the Italian-made Pietta revolver Mr. Baldwin was holding would not fire when fully cocked without the trigger being pulled. This contradicted Mr. Baldwin’s claim that he had cocked the gun but did not pull the trigger.

Charges against Mr. Baldwin were dropped last year due to new evidence suggesting the gun might have been modified to fire without the trigger being pulled. However, a grand jury recharged him after an independent test confirmed that the gun would not discharge without a trigger pull.

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