Jury selection begins as Alec Baldwin faces involuntary manslaughter trial over Rust shooting

9 July 2024, 14:09 | Updated: 9 July 2024, 16:32

Alec Baldwin, 66, on the set of Rust
Alec Baldwin, 66, on the set of Rust. Picture: Alamy

By Henry Moore

Jury selection began today in Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial over the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the film set of Rust in 2021.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Baldwin, 66, could face up to 18 months in prison if the selected jurors unanimously decide he committed a felony when the revolver he was pointing at Hutchins went off, killing her and wounding director Joel Souza.

The actor has argued the gun fired accidentally after he followed instructions to point it at Hutchins, who stood behind the camera, without knowing it contained live rounds.

He also claims he pulled back the hammer, not the trigger, before it fired.

The Beetlejuice and 30 Rock star made his first court appearance on Monday in a pretrial hearing, where Judge Mary Marlowe Summer ruled Baldwin’s role as co-producer of the film is not relevant to the trial.

Baldwin’s defence is expected to argue it was the responsibility of other crew members to ensure the gun was safe, not his.

Prosecutors have branded this “absurd.”

Actor Alec Baldwin, left, sits with his lawyer Luke Nikas, in District Court in Santa Fe, N.M., Monday, July 8, 2024
Actor Alec Baldwin, left, sits with his lawyer Luke Nikas, in District Court in Santa Fe, N.M., Monday, July 8, 2024. Picture: Alamy

Judge Marlowe Summer said the high-profile nature of this trial should not delay the selection of a jury and opening statements are likely to begin by Wednesday.

“I’m not worried about being able to pick a jury in one day,” the Judge remarked.

“I think we’re going to pick a jury by the afternoon.”

Read more: Dyson plans to cut nearly a third of UK workforce with 1,000 jobs at risk due to ‘global restructure’

Read more: No refund for £270m Rwanda plan, Kigali confirms as they label it a ‘UK problem’

Baldwin’s attorney Alex Spiro, echoed this, saying: “I’ve never not picked a jury in one day. I can’t imagine that this would be the first time.”

Earlier this year, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 26, a weapons adviser on the set of Rust, was jailed for 18 months for involuntary manslaughter.

Gutierrez-Reed had pleaded not guilty, but was found to have allowed a live bullet to get into the gun through negligence. Baldwin then used the gun to accidentally shoot dead Ms Hutchins and wound director Joel Souza.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, center, sits with her attorney Jason Bowles, left, during the first day of testimony in the trial against her in First District Court, in Santa Fe, N.M.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, center, sits with her attorney Jason Bowles, left, during the first day of testimony in the trial against her in First District Court, in Santa Fe, N.M. Picture: Alamy

As part of the jury selection process, potential candidates will attend the courtroom for questioning today, with cameras being turned off to protect their privacy.

Given the high-profile nature of this case, they will be interviewed and questioned over potential conflicts.

After Hutchins’ death, reports claimed there had been two accidental firings on the film’s set before the fatal incident occurred.

Some crew members had reportedly resigned the day before her death, citing safety concerns.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

NHS England has warned of "continued disruption" to GP services into next week.

NHS warns of GP disruption after global IT outage as travel services remain in chaos

Planes, trains and roads have been hit by travel chaos following Friday's IT outage.

Holiday hell: Trains, planes and roads in chaos after global IT outage - with thousands of Brits stranded abroad

Graham Gomm

Prisoner who escaped custody at HMP Wormwood Scrubs during hospital trip is arrested following manhunt

Charles and Camilla attend the King's Parade outside Pomme d'Or Hotel, Liberation Square in St Helier, Jersey

Charles and Camilla 'rushed to safety by security' after suspect 'spotted on roof' just days after Trump rally shooting

A highway bridge collapsed in northwest China.

At least 12 people dead and more than 30 missing after China bridge collapses due to flooding

Ray Reardon has died

Snooker legend Ray Reardon dies aged 91 after cancer battle

Steve Baker and Tom Tugendhat

Top Tory reveals why he is backing Tom Tugendhat to 'put the party back together' as leader

The National Lottery site and app is down

National Lottery down as users unable to access site and app day after global IT outage

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Travel misery continues as global IT outage 'could take weeks to clear' - with over 5,000 flights cancelled worldwide

Nadiya Bychkova allegedly made a complaint to Strictly bosses

Strictly pro Nadiya Bychkova breaks silence over 'complaint' amid misconduct scandal

An independent review has recommended teachers and nurses get 5.5% pay rises

Teachers and nurses among millions of public sector workers that should get 5.5% pay rise, ministers told

Tom Tugendhat

Two top Tories back Tom Tugendhat to be next Conservative leader

Shockat Adam

Independent MP who dedicated surprise win to Gaza 'hit with death threat'

The Tavistock Centre

'No evidence' curbs on puberty blockers have led to rise in suicide among trans children, report finds

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Boss of company behind global IT outage 'sincerely apologises' for worldwide chaos sparked by software bug

President Joe Biden

Joe Biden insists he will stay in race, as president's family 'discuss exit plan from election campaign'