Live updates from ‘Rust’ trial: Alec Baldwin’s defense says it doesn’t make him guilty whether he pulled the trigger or not

Video: Alec Baldwin Seen on the Set of Rust After the Shooting

Alec Baldwin’s “disregard” for gun safety is at the center of the Hollywood star’s second day of involuntary manslaughter trial in a Santa Fe courthouse — nearly three years after camerawoman Halyna Hutchin was killed in a tragic shooting during the filming of a Western. Rust.

During a rehearsal for a shooting scene in 2021, a prop gun Baldwin was holding went off, hitting Hutchins and killing him, and wounding director Joel Souza.

Baldwin is charged with involuntary manslaughter and faces up to 18 months in prison.

Just before the trial began Thursday, defense attorney Jason Bowles confirmed that the film’s gunmaker, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, will testify Friday. Gutierrez-Reed has already been convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

On Wednesday, jurors heard opening statements from prosecutors alleging the Hollywood star skipped security checkpoints and acted recklessly with a revolver before the fatal incident.

Baldwin “played as if he were playing with a real gun and in doing so violated basic rules of firearm safety,” special prosecutor Erlinda Ocampo Johnson said.

But defense attorney Alex Spiro said, “These are not cardinal rules on a movie set.”

As the first witnesses took the stand, prosecutors played the tense 911 call after the shooting and used a graphic body camera to record the desperate efforts of emergency responders to save Hutchins. In the courtroom, Baldwin watched the screen somberly as the video played.

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Court interrupts lunch

Andrea CavallierJuly 11, 2024 6:51 PM

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How long will the trial of Alec Baldwin last?

The trial of Alec Baldwin on charges of involuntary manslaughter in New Mexico’s First Judicial District Court — about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of the film set of “Rust” and the shooting of Halyna Hutchins — is expected to last nine days.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer emphasizes that she will ensure that the attorneys adhere to the rules and schedule.

A jury was selected on Tuesday and opening statements were presented on Wednesday.

(AP)

The state’s first four witnesses testified Wednesday, but forensic technician Marissa Poppell’s cross-examination took most of the day on Thursday.

The expected end date is the following Friday.

Once the jurors have the case in hand, they can deliberate for as long as necessary.

(AP)

Andrea CavallierJuly 11, 2024 6:46 PM

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Defense questions why it took a week to search ‘Rust’ prop truck

Defense attorney Alex Spiro questioned forensic officer Marissa Poppell about why it took a week to search the prop truck on the set of Rust.

The truck is where the blanks and dummy cartridges were kept. Live ammunition was found on the set, but nothing was found in the truck.

“You find these live rounds all over the set, right? It just seemed to be all over the place without a lot of coherence between where you find them,” Spiro said.

(Law and Crime)

“And they’re originally in the truck. And so a week later you go to the prop truck, which has all the ammunition. And there’s not a single live bullet, right? Why did the police wait a week to go to the prop truck?”

Poppell responded, “The search warrant had to be written.”

She added: “I don’t know exactly why the time difference happened.”

He claimed that a search warrant for the church on the set was written and filed the same day of the shooting. Poppell clarified that the search warrant was done the next day.

(AP)

Andrea CavallierJuly 11, 2024 6:31 PM

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Piece of paper collected from the crime scene that reads ‘Rest Colt tense quietly now’

A piece of paper collected from the scene of the church shooting is on display.

There appear to be instructions on the paper and it says, “Rest Colt now cocked quietly.”

Poppell says on the witness stand that she took the photo of the article because she felt it was important because it mentioned a gun.

Andrea CavallierJuly 11, 2024 5:45 PM

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Crime scene technician says live bullets found among fake bullets

Marissa Poppell testified on the stand that live bullets were found mixed with fake bullets in a prop cart on the set of Rust.

In photos shown in court, the bullets appear to have a silver dot on the bottom of the casing instead of a dull orange color.

“Your working theory, when you evaluated the munitions and looked at the similarity between the Starline nickel live and the Starline nickel dummies, is that they could easily have been mixed in there?” asked defense attorney Alex Spiro.

“Yes,” she replied.

“In other words, someone would have mistaken one for the other, right?” he asked. She said, “Yes.”

Special Prosecutor Erlinda Ocampo Johnson displays a bullet in an evidence bag during the trial
Special Prosecutor Erlinda Ocampo Johnson displays a bullet in an evidence bag during the trial (AP)

Spiro also questioned Poppell about the harm caused by the state’s forensic analysis of the gun. The team previously tried to have the cases dismissed because they couldn’t examine the gun.

“As far as the firearm, I think what you ended up with yesterday is that the firearm was destroyed during the testing there,” Spiro said.

“Not destroyed, but broken,” Poppell replied.

She later admitted that the gun could likely be repaired with replacement parts, but that it could not be restored to the condition it was in on the day of the shooting.

Andrea CavallierJuly 11, 2024 5:24 PM

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Alec Baldwin’s family returns to court to support him

Actor Stephen Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend Alec Baldwin's trial
Actor Stephen Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend Alec Baldwin’s trial (AP)
Hilaria, Alec Baldwin's wife
Hilaria, Alec Baldwin’s wife (AP)
Hilaria Baldwin arrives at her husband's trial
Hilaria Baldwin arrives at her husband’s trial (AP)
Actor Stephen Baldwin, left, and his sister Elizabeth Keuchler arrive at the courthouse on Thursday
Actor Stephen Baldwin, left, and his sister Elizabeth Keuchler arrive at the courthouse on Thursday (AP)

Andrea CavallierJuly 11, 2024 5:02 PM

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WATCH LIVE: Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ manslaughter trial continues into second day

Andrea CavallierJuly 11, 2024 4:21 PM

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Court resumes second day of Baldwin trial

Court has reopened for the second day of Alec Baldwin’s manslaughter trial.

The prosecution’s fourth witness, forensic technician Marissa Poppell, is back on the stand.

She is being questioned by the defense.

Andrea CavallierJuly 11, 2024 4:16 PM

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JUST IN: Gunmaker to testify in Alec Baldwin trial Friday

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the gunsmith on the set of “Rust” who was convicted, is expected to testify Friday morning.

Gutierrez-Reed will be transported from jail to court Friday morning, attorney Jason Bowles confirmed to Court TV as the trial resumed Thursday.

Andrea CavallierJuly 11, 2024 3:38 PM

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Spectators at Alec Baldwin trial flood New Mexico town

Spectators gathered outside a Santa Fe courthouse this week for the start of the high-profile trial of Alec Baldwin.

Although many came from the local area, people also came from out of town to witness the spectacle.

Janelle Rogers, an Albuquerque resident who once appeared on “Better Call Saul,” and a friend held signs that read, “Justice for Halyna” on one side and “Safety on set! Is a must! No excuses!!” on the other.

She criticized the film industry, saying, “There is no safety on set.”

“Safety is a must on set, no matter who you are or where you are,” Rogers told the New York Post.

“Halyna Hutchins should not have died.”

Jonathan Zwiebel, left, and his mother Janelle Rogers stand outside court demanding justice for camerawoman Halyna Hutchins
Jonathan Zwiebel, left, and his mother Janelle Rogers stand outside court demanding justice for camerawoman Halyna Hutchins (AP)

“I blame a lot of people for her death. It’s multiple people. Just because you’re an actor or not a producer doesn’t mean you’re exempt,” Rogers said, adding that she believes his wife’s presence at the trial is a publicity stunt to promote their new reality show.

A Rio Rancher resident drove an hour from her home to attend the trial. She had been watching the trial of gunmaker Hannah Gutierrez-Reed — who was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in March.

“I’ve been following the Gutierrez case,” Jarrell said.[I’m] I was super excited that it was in my home state. [I] I drove about an hour to get here.”

She advocates for stricter gun safety laws and justice for Hutchins.

Andrea CavallierJuly 11, 2024 3:00 PM

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