Alec Baldwin Manslaughter Trial: Daily Updates

Posted at 6:50 PM, July 12, 2024

SANTA FE, N.M. (Court TV) — In a shocking turn of events, the judge dismissed the case against Alec Baldwin with prejudice on the third day of Baldwin’s manslaughter trial.

The judgment came after a tense day of scrutiny against the prosecution, including the resignation of Special Prosecutor Erlinda Johnson and Special Prosecutor Kari Morrissey taking the stand to defend her discovery in this case.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer grants motion to dismiss with prejudice in the Alec Baldwin Manslaughter Trial.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer grants motion to dismiss with prejudice in the Alec Baldwin Manslaughter Trial. (Court TV)

After Judge Marlowe Sommer announced her decision to throw out Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter case, the courtroom “erupted in a huge gasp, followed by tears, according to Court TV Legal Correspondent Matt Johnson, who sat in the courtroom on Friday.

The judge’s decision to dismiss the case with prejudice means that no future charges can be brought against Baldwin. Baldwin did not make a public statement but left the courtroom holding his wife’s hand with tears in his eyes. He can finally begin to move on from what his defense called “a tragic mistake.”



The incident unfolded on October 21, 2021, during a rehearsal on the outskirts of Santa Fe when a .45 caliber revolver Baldwin was handling discharged a live round, fatally striking the film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and injuring director/writer Joel Souza. Since then, the aftermath had been marked by legal battles, wrongful death lawsuits, and a previous trial that ended with the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez, serving an 18-month sentence after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter but acquitted on charges that she tampered with evidence.

RELATED | Key players in the Alec Baldwin Manslaughter Trial

Central to the upcoming trial were allegations that Baldwin, as both the lead actor and a producer, failed to adhere to industry safety standards, court documents stated. Prosecutors argued Baldwin disregarded established protocols, including inadequate firearm training, and allowed unsafe conditions on set, ultimately leading to the tragic outcome. They contended Baldwin was negligent in handling the firearm, contradicting his claim that the gun discharged without him pulling the trigger.

In response, Baldwin’s defense asserted that safety on set rested with professionals like Gutierrez and the assistant director, David Halls, who had been entrusted with ensuring the firearms were safe and properly managed. In a cross-complaint filed by Baldwin’s defense, they argued that neither Baldwin nor others present were aware that live ammunition had been loaded into the gun, believing it to be safe for use.

The trial carried significant consequences for Baldwin, who faced the possibility of up to 18 months in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter. As the legal proceedings commenced, all eyes were on Baldwin and the courtroom drama that could’ve unfolded.


DAY 3 – 7/12/24

DAY 2 – 7/11/24

  • Alec Baldwin’s defense attorneys failed in their bid to suppress statements Baldwin made during a phone call to his wife in which he encouraged her to keep their family vacation plans shortly after two people were shot- one fatally wounded – on the set of Rust.
    • WATCH: Alec Baldwin Manslaughter Trial: Day 2 Recap
    • Baldwin made the call while he was at the police station on a break from being interviewed by a detective. Defense Attorney Heather LeBlanc argued the statements should be redacted, because they would unfairly prejudice her client, making him appear callous.  Special Prosecutor Kari Morrissey argued the statements reflected the defendant’s state of mind and would counter the defense position that Baldwin was devastated by incident.
    • “He (Baldwin) knows she is critically injured she is so injured she’s taken away in a helicopter,” Morrissey argued. “He is actually planning basically a vacation, he tells his family still come to New Mexico, we’ll have a good time.”
    • The judge sided with the State and will permit much of the contested content to be heard by jurors including statements that Baldwin made that reflected his knowledge of the potential danger of blank rounds.
    • The defense’s quest to redact what appear to be insensitive comments comes two days after the start of the trial, prompting the judge to cut off any further argument telling Heather LeBlanc – ‘it’s too late.’
  • Defense Attorney Alex Spiro spent the better part of the day grilling Marissa Poppell, the crime scene technician tasked with photographing and collecting evidence. He questioned Poppell about live rounds that were turned over to her office after the conclusion of Hannah Gutierrez’s trial. The film’s armorer was convicted earlier this year of involuntary manslaughter for loading the live round into Baldwin’s gun.
    • WATCH: Crime Scene Investigator Says Focus Was Finding Lethal Round
    • Spiro called the individual a good Samaritan, and suggested the evidence he turned over to the Sheriff’s Office was being swept under the rug and that Poppell had overlooked Seth Kenney as a suspect who supplied Rust productions with ammunition.
  • On redirect Prosecutor Morrissey said the good Samaritan Spiro referred to was Troy Teske a good friend of Hannah Gutierrez’ stepfather Thell Reed, who she suggested had a motive to cast doubt on Gutierrez’ guilt.
  • Alessandro Pietta the Italian gunmaker who made the single action revolver eventually purchased by Seth Kenney and used by Baldwin said he made the gun for a Las Vegas gun show. He testified that gun could only be fired by cocking the hammer and pulling the trigger. On cross he conceded he had not seen the gun since its creation in 2017 and was not aware of its history between the time it left his facility and the time, he was asked to observe it in a zoom meeting a few months before the trial.
  • Lead Investigator Alexandria Hancock was called to the stand. She interviewed all three of the defendants that were criminally charged in the Rust shooting including Alec Baldwin. She testified that her investigation led to Hannah Gutierrez as the source of the live rounds that ended up on the set of Rust. She resumes her testimony on Friday.
  • Guiterrez’s attorney told Court TV that the armorer is expected to be transported to the courthouse as early as Friday to testify in Baldwin’s trial.

DAY 1 – 7/10/24

  • Special prosecutor Erlinda Johnson opened by telling jurors that Alec Baldwin was reckless, pointing his gun at people, putting his finger on the trigger when he wasn’t supposed to, and violating multiple gun safety rules that ultimately led to the death of his Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
  • Defense Attorney Alex Spiro in his opening told jurors that Baldwin had committed no crime. As an actor, he was not required to check the gun because he relied on professionals to ensure the gun was safe and that there was no reason for Baldwin or anyone else on the crew to believe the gun was armed with a live round.
    • Spiro played for the jury the scene that led to the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins. He said Baldwin was in character playing the role of Harlon Rust who was injured, confronted by gunmen chasing him. Spiro said Baldwin handled the gun as he was instructed by the director. The scene called for him to point the gun to defend himself against a group of gunmen chasing him. The death of Halyna Hutchins was the result of professionals who made tragic mistakes.
    • WATCH: Alec Baldwin Manslaughter Trial: Defense Opening Statement
  • First Responder plays dramatic video of the aftermath of the shooting scene. Officer Nicholas LeFleur tried to separate Alec Baldwin from the other members on the Rust set. His bodycam video captures Baldwin commiserating with other crew members despite being instructed not to talk to anyone.
  • Timoteo Benavidez another first responder confiscates the gun and ammunition used in the shooting. His bodycam video captures Hannah Gutierrez, the armorer on the set fumbling and crying as she tries to locate the source of the rounds she used to load Baldwin’s gun
  • WATCH: Alec Baldwin Manslaughter Trial: Day 1 Recap


  • A panel of 11 women and five men, including four alternates, was selected to hear the case against Alec Baldwin.
  • Special Prosecutor Kari Morrissey asked jurors, in her 50-minute questioning, if they had formed an opinion, if they were gun owners, if they had strong feelings about guns and if they had worked or knew anyone in the film industry.
  • Defense Attorney Alex Spiro also probed the prospective jurors for their views on gun safety and whether they could accept the concept of trusting an expert to help them handle guns. Several prospective jurors stated that they would want to check a gun for themselves and were always taught to assume any gun, real or fake, could be loaded and never to point a gun at anyone. Jurors who held those views were not selected.
  • WATCH: Jury Seated In Alec Baldwin Manslaughter Trial