Alec Baldwin poses with gun and ammo in newly released Rust rehearsal video

Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ Trial Start Date Rescheduled From August

Home / News / Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ Trial Start Date Rescheduled From August

By Kristin Myers on February 26, 2024 at 2:45 PM EST

Actor Alec Baldwin will not have to wait until August to appear in a trial regarding the 2021 death of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The “30 Rock” actor was holding a gun on the set of the Western film when it went off, injuring both her and director Joel Souza. Hutchins later died of her injuries.

In January 2023, both Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. The charges against Baldwin were later dropped without prejudice as the investigation continued.

The charges were refiled in January 2024; Baldwin submitted a plea of not guilty just over a week later.

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‘Rust’ Trial For Alec Baldwin Rescheduled As Armorer’s Trial Gets Underway

Alec Baldwin sits down with police for interview following Rust shooting
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The trial for “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is currently in its third day, with the prosecution presenting several witnesses to allege that the rookie armorer was “unprofessional” on set. In addition to involuntary manslaughter, she is also facing an additional charge of tampering with evidence after prosecutors alleged that she transferred cocaine to another individual on the day of the shooting, thus hindering the police investigation.

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On Friday, during the second day of the trial, the prosecution presented text messages from her phone that alleged that she was going to get high the night before the shooting. However, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer warned the prosecution in a pre-trial hearing to limit that reference to the armorer’s alleged drug use in order to focus on the death of Halyna Hutchins.

The prosecution is unlikely to dig up text messages from Alec Baldwin in his trial, although he did submit his phone for evidence when requested. On Monday, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer scheduled jury selection for Baldwin’s trial to occur on July 9, 2024. She estimated that the trial would run from July 10 through July 19, 2024.

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Baldwin Has Denied Pulling The Trigger

Alec Baldwin poses with gun and ammo in newly released Rust rehearsal video
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It is still unclear how ammunition ended up in the gun that Alec Baldwin was holding on a movie set. It is also unclear whether or not the “Supercell” actor actually pulled the trigger. He has vehemently denied pulling the trigger in an ABC interview in December 2021 and in subsequent interviews since; however, a forensic investigation from the FBI maintains that the trigger on the firearm had to be pulled.

In addition to facing a criminal trial in July, Baldwin is also facing numerous civil cases in both California and Mexico. The civil lawsuits did not stop him from finishing filming last spring in Montana, in which Baldwin returned to reprise his role. Director Joel Souza, who was hospitalized as a result of the shooting, also returned to direct.

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Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was not asked to return to the production, although she has maintained through her lawyer, Jason Bowles, that she does not know how live ammunition was found on the set of “Rust.” Her trial is scheduled to from through March 8.

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SAG-AFTRA Defends Alec Baldwin Amid Criminal Charges

Alec Baldwin at the 2023 Roundabout Theatre Company Gala
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Although many have questioned why Alec Baldwin did not inspect the firearm himself to see if it contained a live round, SAG-AFTRA released a statement announcing that it is the job of the firearm, not the actor, in order to inspect a gun if it is used on set. In a statement posted to their website on January 25, 2024, SAG-AFTRA wrote, "To the extent that the charges filed on January 19 are based on an accusation of negligent use of a firearm predicated on this or any actor having a duty to inspect a firearm as part of its use, that is an incorrect assessment of the actual duties of an actor on set."

"An actor’s job is not to be a firearms or weapons expert. Firearms are provided for use on set under the guidance of multiple expert professionals directly responsible for the safe and accurate operation of that firearm," they continued. "The Industry Standards for safety with firearms and the use of blank ammunition are clearly laid out in Safety Bulletin 1, provided by the Joint Industry-Wide Labor Management Safety Commission. The guidelines require an experienced, qualified armorer to be put in charge of all handling, use, and safekeeping of firearms on set. These duties include 'inspecting the firearm and barrel before and after every firing sequence,' and 'checking all firearms before each use.'"

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"The guidelines do not make it the performer’s responsibility to check any firearm. Performers train to perform, and they are not required or expected to be experts on guns or experienced in their use. The industry assigns that responsibility to qualified professionals who oversee their use and handling in every aspect," they concluded. "Anyone issued a firearm on set must be given training and guidance in its safe handling and use, but all activity with firearms on a set must be under the careful supervision and control of the professional armorer and the employer."

Alec Baldwin, who served as an actor and a producer on the Western film, could face up to 18 months to three years behind bars and around $5,000 in fines if found guilty.

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