Alec Baldwin getting summer blockbuster in court as trial date set

Posted at 5:08 PM, February 26, 2024

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP/Court TV) — A New Mexico judge has set a trial date for Alec Baldwin on an involuntary manslaughter charge stemming from the 2021 deadly shooting on the set of the Western movie “Rust.”

Alec Baldwin on the “Rust” film set in Santa Fe, N.M., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died from a gun fired by the actor.

The scheduling order entered Monday calls for jury selection to begin July 9, with the trial starting the following day with opening statements by special prosecutors and Baldwin’s defense attorneys. The proceedings are expected to last eight days. Court TV has been selected to broadcast the trial, as well as distribute the feed to other media organizations.

According to the order, all motions and final witness lists must be submitted prior to May 6, two months after the State submitted their initial witness list with 32 names on it, including the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez, whose defense pointed the finger at Baldwin during opening statements of her trial.

READ MORE | NM v. Hannah Gutierrez: Baldwin Movie Shooting Trial

Baldwin, the lead actor and a co-producer on the film, pleaded not guilty in January, the day before he was scheduled to be arraigned. A grand jury had indicted him after prosecutors received a new analysis of the revolver he was using during filming, renewing a charge that prosecutors initially filed and then dismissed in April 2023.

According to legal documents filed by Baldwin’s attorneys on Jan. 24,  he had demanded a speedy trial, in part to “minimize public vilification and suspicion” and to “avoid the hazards of proving innocence that often arise after a lengthy delay in prosecution.”

Hannah Gutierrez in court ahead of defense opening statements

Hannah Gutierrez stands in court as the jury enters on the first day of testimony in the trial against her in First District Court in Santa Fe, N.M., Thursday, February 22, 2024. (Court TV)

Baldwin was pointing the gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a rehearsal on the set outside of Santa Fe when the gun went off, killing her and wounding director Joel Souza.

Baldwin has said he pulled back the hammer — but not the trigger — and the gun fired. The subsequent analysis concluded that “the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver.”

The revolver is also the subject of testimony in the case against Gutierrez. Her trial resumed Monday in Santa Fe with testimony from an FBI firearms expert.

The proceedings against the armorer hold implications for Baldwin, who faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted.

Baldwin remains free pending trial under conditions that include not possessing firearms, consuming alcohol or leaving the country. Baldwin can have limited contact with witnesses when it comes to promoting “Rust,” which has not been released for public viewing. Baldwin is prohibited from asking members of the “Rust” cast or crew to participate in a related documentary film.


Beth Hemphill, Digital Managing Editor at Court TV, contributed to this story.