Jury selection commences for Rust shooting trial.

Jury selection commences for Rust shooting trial.

Actor Alec Baldwin has arrived at a New Mexico courthouse for the start of his trial in connection with a fatal shooting on the set of the Western film Rust. Baldwin, 66, is facing involuntary manslaughter charges stemming from the October 2021 death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. The incident occurred when a gun Baldwin was using in a scene rehearsal went off, fatally striking Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

Jury selection has begun, and opening statements are expected to commence on Wednesday. Baldwin, best known for his roles in 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live, has pleaded not guilty to the felony charge. He maintains that he did not pull the trigger and claims the gun discharged when he cocked the revolver’s hammer. His defense team argues that other crew members should have ensured the gun was safe.

Prosecutors, however, dispute Baldwin’s version of events, calling his claim “absurd” and alleging that he failed to follow basic gun safety protocols. The trial will address crucial questions surrounding gun safety on set and Baldwin’s level of responsibility as both an actor and producer on Rust.

The trial is expected to last 10 days, with the potential for Baldwin to face up to 18 months in prison if found guilty. Regardless of the trial’s outcome, Baldwin also faces civil lawsuits, including one filed by Hutchins’s family, alleging negligence on the part of the actor. Despite the legal challenges, Baldwin and his wife recently announced plans to star in a reality show with their seven children.

As the trial unfolds, Baldwin’s defense team will need to navigate complex legal arguments and present a compelling case to the jury. The outcome of the trial will not only determine Baldwin’s legal fate but also shed light on the importance of gun safety measures in the entertainment industry.