Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ trial live: Witness testimony begins with Santa Fe deputy

Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ trial live: Witness testimony begins with Santa Fe deputy
Video: Alec Baldwin seen on set of Rust after

Alec Baldwin’s sister was spotted crying at the Hollywood actor’s involuntary manslaughter trial on Wednesday during opening statements as the state told jurors he ignored gun safety before the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of the movie Rust.

Just before witness testimony began, the court went on break where Baldwin’s brother Stephen Baldwin, was seen “consoling his sister, who was crying during opening statements,” an eyewitness told Entertainment Tonight. Baldwin then joined his family and hugged his sister who was “visibly emotional, crying and wiping away tears.”

It’s been almost three years since a rehearsal of a shooting scene in the Western ended tragically, when a prop gun Baldwin was holding went off, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.

The high-profile trial began Tuesday with jury selection and nine days of testimony is expected, the judge said.

“When someone plays make believe, with a real gun, and that person disregards the Cardinal rule of gun safety… People die,” special prosecutor Erlinda Johnson told the courtroom in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Baldwin, 66, has insisted that he didn’t pull the trigger on the firearm and didn’t know it contained a live round. He has claimed it fired accidentally. He is charged with a single felony count of involuntary manslaughter and faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted.

Earlier this year, the movie’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to the maximum 18 months in prison.


Alec Baldwin’s sister cries in court

The actor’s sister,  Beth Keuchler, and his brother, Stephen Baldwin, were both in court to support their brother on Wednesday.

An eyewitness told Entertainment Tonight that Stephen Baldwin was seen “consoling his sister, who was crying during opening statements.”

During the break, “Elizabeth and Stephen went out into the hallway, where Stephen continued to console his sister, who was visibly emotional, crying and wiping away tears.”

Baldwin then joined his family and hugged his sister, it was reported.

Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria Baldwin, was also in the courtroom for opening statements.

Andrea Cavallier10 July 2024 20:40


Deputy says Baldwin was instructed not to speak to others

In video footage played in court, Baldwin is shown smoking a cigarette as he answered LeFleur’s questions and asked about the location of the two victims.

The deputy instructed Baldwin instructed not to speak to others. He said he had concerns about witnesses potentially tainting their statements about what happened.

But the prosecution pointed out that despite LeFleur’s instruction, Baldwin continued to talk about it.

Andrea Cavallier10 July 2024 19:09


What to know about Alec Baldwin trial

Here are the essential things to know:

Andrea Cavallier10 July 2024 19:00


Deputy’s bodycam footage shows chaos of shooting on set

Santa Fe deputy Nicholas LeFleu’s being played in court.

It shows the chaos that unfolded on set after Hutchins and Souza were shot.

LeFleur says when he arrived, people were “running everywhere” and Souza is heard screaming out in pain.

Baldwin sits at the defense table taking notes while the video plays.

Andrea Cavallier10 July 2024 18:32


State calls first witness – Santa Fe deputy Nicholas LeFleur

The prosecution calls the first witness to the stand – Santa Fe deputy Nicholas LeFleur.

He was the first officer at the scene after the fatal shooting on the set.

Andrea Cavallier10 July 2024 18:06


Opening statements conclude and court is on break

Opening statements in Baldwin’s trial have concluded and the court is now taking a morning recess.

Andrea Cavallier10 July 2024 17:38


Defense says Baldwin was assured his gun was ‘cold’

Spiro told jurors that the cast and crew were assured multiple times that Baldwin’s gun was “cold.”

A cold gun doesn’t mean no live bullets, he explains to the jury. “It means that you don’t even have the blanks or dummies in it. It means it is inert and can do no harm. They can’t hurt anyone,” he says.

Spiro also described the atmosphere as being calm on the set that day.

“No one had any idea that this venomous, toxic element had been inserted into this magic they were creating, but it did,” he said. “It entered that place. It killed an amazing person, it wounded another, and it changed lives forever.”

He then explained the roles of the people on set, placing the blame on armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, and David Hall, the set’s first assistant director.

“Everybody on a movie set has a role. The armorer armors. The director directs. The actor acts,” he said. “They work in harmony, but they have a division of responsibility.”

Andrea Cavallier10 July 2024 17:20


Defense says ‘Alec Baldwin committed no crime’

Alex Spiro, one of Baldwin’s attorneys, is now speaking.

He tells the jurors that the fatal shooting of Hutchins was an “unspeakable tragedy but Alec Baldwin committed no crime.”

“You have to step back and remember what they were doing on a movie set. Movies and magic have always been closely associated… all over this country for many decades,” he said.

Spiro shifted attention to how a live bullet ever made its way to the Rust  movie set, insisting there was no evidence that Baldwin had anything to do with the bullet going into the gun.

“He was an actor, acting, playing the role of Harlan Rust,” he said. “An actor, playing a character, can act in ways that are lethal that just aren’t lethal on a movie set. These cardinal rules, they’re not cardinal rules on a movie set.”

Andrea Cavallier10 July 2024 16:52


Baldwin pulled the trigger, prosecution says

Johnson tells the jury that they will see video footage during the trial of Baldwin using the gun on set.

“You’ll see the video footage of the multiple occasions during which the defendant used this firearm on the set, and each time he fired it, it was working just fine,” Johnson said.

“And in fact, you’ll hear evidence that the defendant himself admitted in December of 2021 that this gun didn’t have any mechanical problems.”

This comes after Baldwin stated that he did not pull the trigger the day Hutchins was shot.

Johnson also said the firearm was repeatedly tested by a forensic expert at the FBI, which determined that the gun had no defects and was in working order.

Andrea Cavallier10 July 2024 16:48


Baldwin failed to perform safety checks

The prosecution told the jury that Baldwin routinely failed to do safety checks with armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed on the set of “Rust.”

Johnson said Baldwin was filmed during his required gun safety training “running around, shooting his gun.”

She also said he “didn’t want to offend” Gutierrez-Reed by doing the checks every time he was handed a gun.

“You will learn that one of the rounds in that revolver was a real round, and the evidence will show that Ms. Gutierrez then handed the gun to the defendant,” Johnson said.

“And what you will learn is that, once again, the defendant failed to do a gun safety check with this armorer.”

Andrea Cavallier10 July 2024 16:43