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Jury selection begins Tuesday in Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ manslaughter trial

Last Updated 1 week by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

Jury selection begins Tuesday morning in actor Alec Baldwin’s manslaughter trial.

The case stems from the 2021 shooting on the movie set of “Rust,” in which Baldwin is accused of firing a live round that fatally struck the films director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and injured director/writer Joel Souza. The trial could have significant consequences for Baldwin, who faces the possibility of up to 18 months in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Related story: ‘Rust’ armorer sentenced to 18 months for fatal shooting on movie set

Baldwin, 66, appeared in court Monday for a pretrial hearing, where he secured a major win. The judge ruled that his producer role in the film won’t be considered during the trial, marking a major setback for prosecutors because that evidence was a key part in their strategy. Video evidence will also be limited in the trial, with the judge ruling that footage unrelated to Baldwin’s handling of weapons on set cannot be shown.

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Prosecutors argue Baldwin disregarded established protocols, including inadequate firearm training, and allowed unsafe conditions on set, ultimately leading to the tragic outcome. They contend Baldwin was negligent in handling the firearm, contradicting his claim that the gun discharged without him pulling the trigger.

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Related story: Alec Baldwin faces new lawsuit for Rust shooting from victims family

In response, Baldwins defense asserts that safety on set rested with professionals like armorer Hannah Gutierrez and the assistant director, David Halls, who had been entrusted with ensuring the firearms were safe and properly managed. In a cross-complaint filed by Baldwins defense, they argue that neither Baldwin nor others present were aware that live ammunition had been loaded into the gun, believing it to be safe for use.

As the legal proceedings commence, all eyes are on Baldwin and the courtroom drama that will unfold, seeking answers and accountability for the tragic events that have profoundly impacted all involved in the production of Rust. Court TV cameras will be inside the courtroom to broadcast the trial gavel to gavel with opening statements expected to begin as early as Wednesday.

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