Posted at 3:30 PM, July 10, 2024
and last updated 3:51 PM, July 10, 2024

SANTA FE, N.M. (Court TV) — Alec Baldwin faces a critical juncture at his manslaughter trial amid intense scrutiny stemming from an accidental shooting on the set of the movie “Rust.”

Court TV cameras will be inside the courtroom to broadcast the trial gavel to gavel. Opening statements are expected as early as Wednesday.

alec baldwin walks in court

Actor Alec Baldwin walks into his courtroom in District Court in Santa Fe, N.M., for a preliminary hearing for the “Rust” trial on Monday, July 8, 2024. Baldwin faces a single charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a cinematographer on the set of the film, “Rust.” (Luis Sánchez Saturno/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

The incident unfolded on October 21, 2021, during a rehearsal on the outskirts of Santa Fe when a .45 caliber revolver Baldwin was handling discharged a live round, fatally striking the film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and injuring director/writer Joel Souza. Since then, the aftermath has been marked by legal battles, wrongful death lawsuits, and a previous trial that ended with the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez, serving an 18-month sentence after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter but acquitted on charges that she tampered with evidence.

RELATED | Key players in the Alec Baldwin Manslaughter Trial

Central to the upcoming trial are allegations that Baldwin, as both the lead actor and a producer, failed to adhere to industry safety standards, court documents stated. 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.

In response, Baldwin’s defense asserts that safety on set rested with professionals like 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 Baldwin’s 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.

The trial carries significant consequences for Baldwin, who faces the possibility of up to 18 months in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter. 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.”


DAY 1 – 7/10/24

Witness testimony begins after Special Prosecutor Kari Morrissey and Defense Attorney Alex Spiro deliver their opening statements.


A panel of 11 women and five men, including four alternates, was selected to hear the case against Alec Baldwin.

  • Special Prosecutor Kari Morrissey asked jurors, in her 50-minute questioning, if they had formed an opinion, if they were gun owners, if they had strong feelings about guns and if they had worked or knew anyone in the film industry.
  • Defense Attorney Alex Spiro also probed the prospective jurors for their views on gun safety and whether they could accept the concept of trusting an expert to help them handle guns. Several prospective jurors stated that they would want to check a gun for themselves and were always taught to assume any gun, real or fake, could be loaded and never to point a gun at anyone. Jurors who held those views were not selected.

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