Alec Baldwin 'requested biggest gun available' before Rust film set shooting, court hears

10 July 2024, 18:06 | Updated: 10 July 2024, 19:01

The manslaughter trial for actor Alec Baldwin has started in New Mexico
The manslaughter trial for actor Alec Baldwin has started in New Mexico. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Flaminia Luck

Actor Alex Baldwin requested the"biggest gun available", before the on-set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, a court has heard.

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The movie star's trial for involuntary manslaughter started today in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Baldwin - who denies the charge - fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during rehearsals for the Western film 'Rust' back in 2021 when a gun went off in his hand.

Prosecutor Erlinda Johnson told the jury the film set was effectively a workplace, and claimed people acted in a reckless manner.

His defence lawyer's insisted he "committed no crime - he was an actor, acting".

Alec Baldwin appearing in court in Santa Fe, New Mexico
The 66 year-old actor is charged with involuntary manslaughter. Picture: Getty

Baldwin, the star of 30 Rock and The Hunt for Red October and a major Hollywood figure for 35 years, sat in the courtroom with a team of four of his lawyers, dressed in a grey suit, dark tie and white shirt with glasses and neatly combed hair.

His wife, Hilaria Baldwin, and his brother, The Usual Suspects actor Stephen Baldwin, were seated in the back of the courtroom.

The couple have seven children, ranging in ages from one to 10.

Five men and 11 women were chosen by Santa Fe County special prosecutors and the actor's team of defence attorneys.

Twelve will be designated as the jury and four as alternates by the court only after they hear the case.

They will be tasked with deciding whether Baldwin committed the felony when, during a rehearsal in October 2021, a revolver went off while he was pointing it at Hutchins, killing her and wounding director Joel Souza.

The trial started on Wednesday
The trial started on Wednesday. Picture: Getty

The indictment accuses Baldwin of involuntary manslaughter through negligent use of a firearm, and an alternative charge of involuntary manslaughter "without due caution or circumspection".

The filming of Rust resumed last year in Montana, under an agreement with the cinematographer's widower Matthew Hutchins that made him an executive producer.

Read more: Armourer on Alec Baldwin film Rust found guilty of manslaughter after cinematographer shot dead

Alec Baldwin is accused of manslaughter
Alec Baldwin is accused of manslaughter. Picture: Getty

Earlier this year, the film's weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 26, was jailed for 18 months after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

She 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.

She was found guilty of manslaughter but not of evidence tampering, after the jury deliberated for two hours.

Ms Hutchins's family spoke out after Gutierrez-Reed's guilty verdict was delivered in March, calling for "everyone who is responsible for Halyna’s death to be held accountable".

Hutchins was considered a rising star in film photography when she was killed at age 42.

She was the mother of a young son who grew up on a remote Soviet military base and worked on documentary films in Eastern Europe before studying film in Los Angeles and embarking on a movie-making career.

Read more: Pressure on Alec Baldwin as Rust cinematographer's family speak out after armourer's conviction

Members of a crowd hold up candles to remember Halyna Hutchins, after her death
Members of a crowd hold up candles to remember Halyna Hutchins, after her death. Picture: Alamy

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