Alec Baldwin’s Involuntary Manslaughter Trial Begins with Jury Selection


The highly anticipated involuntary manslaughter trial of actor Alec Baldwin commenced on July 9, 2024, with the start of jury selection. Baldwin faces charges stemming from the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western film "Rust" in October 2021.

The incident also injured the film’s director, Joel Souza.

The trial, set to last until July 19, follows a grand jury's indictment of Baldwin in January 2024, after a renewed analysis of the firearm involved.

The prosecution argues that Baldwin pulled the trigger of the Colt .45 revolver during a rehearsal, causing the fatal discharge. Baldwin, who has pleaded not guilty, maintains that he pulled back the hammer but did not pull the trigger.

Special prosecutors will argue that the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked hammer of the revolver, based on forensic analysis. Baldwin's defense team is expected to challenge these findings, asserting that the gun malfunctioned.

The trial will also address the role of Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film's armorer, who faces separate charges of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence. Gutierrez-Reed's trial began earlier and includes testimony from FBI firearms experts, which may impact Baldwin's case.

If convicted, Baldwin faces up to 18 months in prison. The proceedings are closely watched, given Baldwin's high profile and the significant implications for safety protocols in the film industry.

Baldwin remains free on conditions, including prohibitions on firearm possession and contact with certain witnesses related to the "Rust" production. The trial's outcome will determine the accountability for Hutchins' tragic death and potentially reshape industry standards.


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