Alec Baldwin Wins ‘Rust’ Pre-Trial Victory as Judge Rules to Exclude His Role as Coproducer

Prosecutors cannot argue that Baldwin’s producer title made him more culpable for the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

Alec Baldwin's role in an on-set death on "Rust" highlighted the issue of crew safety.
Alec Baldwin's role in an on-set death on "Rust" highlighted the issue of crew safety.

Alec Baldwin, the actor, will stand trial this week on a charge of involuntary manslaughter for the accidental shooting of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Alec Baldwin, the producer, will not.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer of the First Judicial District in New Mexico ruled Monday that prosecutors could not argue that Baldwin’s role as a coproducer — in addition to being its leading man — made him culpable for the death of Hutchins.

However, the judge also ruled that jurors could see videos that allegedly show Baldwin was reckless while handling guns on set. Prosecutors have argued that footage allegedly shows the actor with his finger on the trigger and using his gun as a pointer to direct crew members.

Baldwin has been charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter for allegedly pointing a gun at Hutchins during rehearsal of a scene. She was killed on Oct. 21, 2021, when a gun he was rehearsing with discharged a live bullet. The gun fired and fatally struck Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.

He has pleaded not guilty, saying he was told the gun did not contain live ammunition. Baldwin has also claimed he did not pull the trigger before the bullet fired, which prosecutors dispute.

Jury selection in Baldwin’s trial is set for Tuesday, with opening arguments scheduled to open on Wednesday.


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