Alec Baldwin 'Rust' trial: Defense claims gun safety rules do not apply to actors during filming

Alec Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter for killing cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins.

Pop Culture & Art July 11, 2024
Courtesy: Reuters

Actor Alec Baldwin's attorney argued in opening statements Wednesday that Baldwin was not responsible for the fatal shooting of a staff member, Halyna Hutchins, on a New Mexico movie set.

Lawyer Alex Spiro informed the jurors that Baldwin was unaware a live round had been mistakenly loaded into the firearm and placed the blame for the accidental death on the film's armorer.

"This was an unspeakable tragedy, but Alec Baldwin committed no crime," Spiro said. "He was an actor acting, playing the role of Harlan Rust. An actor playing a character."

The seasoned actor, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter, was holding the gun that discharged, resulting in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and the injury of director Joel Souza on the set of "Rust" during filming in Santa Fe in 2021.

Prosecutors claim that Baldwin's reckless disregard for basic gun safety protocols led to Hutchins' death.

However, Spiro argued that film sets operate under a different set of rules, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities for each individual.

The attorney stated that armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed was responsible for gun safety at the time and that Baldwin had no reason to believe the gun was loaded.

"No one fathomed, imagined, foresaw any possible danger," he said, insisting that Baldwin was informed that the gun was safe, and on a movie set, such safety checks are performed before the weapon is handed to an actor.

Gutierrez Reed was found guilty of the same charge Baldwin is facing and received an 18-month prison sentence.


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