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Alec Baldwin Faces Trial: Legal Battle Over 'Rust' Shooting Intensifies

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Alec Baldwin's trial for involuntary manslaughter in the 'Rust' shooting begins. The case, marked by legal twists and disputed evidence, could set a precedent in the film industry.

Alec Baldwin's Trial for Involuntary Manslaughter Begins

Controversies and Legal Battles Surrounding the 'Rust' Shooting

The trial of Alec Baldwin for involuntary manslaughter is set to commence in Santa Fe, focusing on the fatal shooting that claimed the life of Halyna Hutchins, the director of photography for the western film 'Rust'. The 66-year-old actor faces up to 18 months in prison for the incident that occurred in October 2021 on a New Mexico ranch. Baldwin had brandished a weapon, believed to contain only blank bullets, which discharged a real projectile, killing Hutchins and injuring the director, Joel Souza.

The prosecution and defense are expected to engage in a heated confrontation, with the trial rooted in an investigation marked by numerous weaknesses and twists. Baldwin has maintained that he was assured the weapon was harmless and denies having pulled the trigger. His legal team has made numerous appeals to dismiss the proceedings, sowing doubt in the prosecution's ranks and leading to changes in the prosecutorial team.

The investigation has not clarified how live ammunition, which is typically prohibited, ended up on the set. Baldwin's defense argues that an actor is not responsible for checking weapons or logistics. However, the prosecution plans to portray Baldwin as an intolerable actor whose diva behavior and disregard for safety endangered the entire crew. Court documents describe Baldwin's pressure on the crew, compromising security and regularly yelling at everyone to expedite the filming process.

Disputed Evidence and Legal Strategies

The prosecution also accuses Baldwin of lying and changing his version of events after his initial interrogation. They reject the defense's claim of an accidental discharge as 'absurd', citing an FBI investigation that concluded the gun could not have fired without pulling the trigger. The defense disputes this, arguing that the FBI damaged parts of the weapon during tests. This contention has become a central argument for the defense in seeking to have the trial canceled.

Baldwin appeared in court with his wife Hilaria and one of his seven children for the trial's opening. The selection of jurors highlighted the challenge of finding impartial individuals due to the widespread media coverage of the case. The death of Halyna Hutchins, a talented 42-year-old cinematographer from Ukraine, has deeply shocked the film industry.

The trial of Rust gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison for her role in the incident, has already drawn significant attention in the United States. Baldwin's fate will be closely watched, as his conviction could set a historical precedent, potentially deterring actors from using real weapons during filming. The hearings are expected to last until the end of next week, with jurors deliberating thereafter.

Clam Reports
Refs: | ANSA | Le Figaro |

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