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What’s Tea? Everything You Need to Know About Alec Baldwin’s Involuntary Manslaughter “Rust” Trial

Almost three years after the fatal on-set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial is set to begin soon.

Alec Baldwin in court
"Rust" co-producer Alec Baldwin sits in pre-trial motion hearing on Monday (July 8) prior to jury selection on Tuesday (July 9).

Alec Baldwin will head to trial nearly three years after the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Jury selection of the trial occurred July 9, according to Deadline. The trial comes after the prosecution of “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was found guilty of an involuntary manslaughter charge and not guilty of tampering with evidence in March. Gutierrez was sentenced in April to 18 months in New Mexico state prison.

Baldwin’s attorneys have continuously attempted to clear the actor’s name from the case throughout the years to no avail. The actor previously filed a cross-complaint against the film’s crew members, noting that their negligence led to the fatal shooting. 

Alec Baldwin Cross Complaint
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More recently, Baldwin gained a legal win as Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer ruled that Baldwin’s role as co-producer on “Rust” cannot be entered as evidence. The decision came after Sommer heard oral arguments during a pre-trial motion hearing on July 8. 

This serves as a blow to special prosecutors Erlinda Johnson and Kari Morrisey. The duo argued that as the film’s producer, Baldwin knew of on-set issues — notably gun discharge and firearm safety.

The actor has been charged with involuntary manslaughter (negligent use of a firearm) and involuntary manslaughter (without due caution or circumspection). Even though there appears to be two charges against Baldwin, the jury will only have to return one verdict on one count.

As a result of being recharged earlier in the year, Baldwin cannot drink alcohol or have a firearm.

The trial stems from the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. While on-set of “Rust,” in October 2021, assistant director David Halls handed Baldwin a Colt. 45 — Halls declared it a “cold gun,” or a firearm that’s safe to use. Halls would testify that he did not check the firearm properly after taking it from Gutierrez-Reed. 

"Rust" cast and crew posing for a picture
Cast and crew of "Rust" pose for a picture while filming the western flick. (Photo Courtesy: Jensen Ackles on Instagram)

During a rehearsal of a shootout scene, Baldwin pointed the firearm at the camera when it suddenly fired. A live round would fatally hit Hutchins and wound director Joel Souza, who was able to recover. 

Baldwin claims it was an accident as he allegedly didn’t pull the trigger, only cocking the firearm’s hammer. The FBI and independent forensic investigators challenged Baldwin’s version of events as they note the gun could not have fired without the trigger being pulled. 

The trial will be livestreamed, starting Wednesday, July 10, online and on cable television. Court TV will have its cameras inside the Santa Fe County District Courthouse, and coverage will begin when the jury is seated and will run until the verdict is read.

The jury selection was not live streamed or filmed.


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