Alec Baldwin's involuntary manslaughter trial date set in 'Rust' movie shooting

ByMark Osborne ABCNews logo
Monday, February 26, 2024
Trial of 'Rust' armorer begins in fatal shooting by Alec Baldwin
Negligence or scapegoating? Trial of 'Rust' armorer begins in fatal shooting by Alec Baldwin

The involuntary manslaughter trial for Alec Baldwin over the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of "Rust" in October 2021 has been set for July, according to New Mexico's First Judicial District Court.

Jury selection is set to begin on July 9 with the trial expected to last from July 10 to 19.

Baldwin was indicted by a grand jury on Jan. 19 on an involuntary manslaughter charge after prosecutors dropped the original manslaughter charges last April.

Baldwin, 65, is accused of fatally shooting Hutchins, 42, on the New Mexico set of the Western in October 2021. The actor was practicing a cross-draw when the gun fired, striking the cinematographer and director Joel Souza, who suffered a non-life-threatening injury.

Baldwin pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter on Jan. 31.

Two others were charged in the on-set shooting, including armorer Hannah Gutierrez and first assistant director David Halls.

Halls pleaded no contest to a charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon and was sentenced to six months unsupervised probation as part of a plea deal. Halls handed the Colt .45 revolver to Baldwin prior to the shooting.

The trial for Gutierrez, who is also charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting, began last week. She was also subsequently charged with tampering with evidence, with prosecutors alleging she handed off a small bag of cocaine after her interview with police following the shooting on Oct. 21, 2021.

Gutierrez, who has pleaded not guilty, faces up to 18 months in jail on each charge, if convicted.

Defense attorney Jason Bowles claimed last week that the production created a "chaotic scene" by giving Gutierrez props duties that took away from her job as lead armorer. He said she wasn't given sufficient time to train the crew on the firearms, including Baldwin, whom he argued was inappropriately handling the gun by pointing it at the crew.

"You're not going to hear anything about [Gutierrez] being in that church or firing that weapon -- that was Alec Baldwin," Bowles said.