Manslaughter Trial Begins of ‘Rust’ Armorer in Alec Baldwin Shooting

The involuntary manslaughter trial of the armorer who loaded the gun Alec Baldwin was rehearsing with on the set of “Rust” when it fired, killing the movie’s cinematographer, began on Thursday with prosecutors accusing her of performing “sloppy and incomplete” safety checks of the weapon and of being responsible for the presence of live rounds on the set.

During opening arguments one of the prosecutors told the jury that the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, had treated gun safety protocols on the film set “as if they were optional,” leading her to miss the fact that she had loaded a live round into an old-fashioned revolver she was preparing for Mr. Baldwin.

The gun went off as he practiced drawing it at a blocking rehearsal, killing the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins.

“We believe that it was the negligent acts and failures of the defendant, Ms. Gutierrez, that resulted in both the acts that contributed to Ms. Hutchins’s death and to the live rounds being brought onto the set,” the prosecutor, Jason J. Lewis, said in the First Judicial District Courthouse in Santa Fe, N.M., as the trial began.

Mr. Baldwin is being tried separately on an involuntary manslaughter charge. He has pleaded not guilty.

On the day of the fatal shooting — Oct. 21, 2021 — the crew was setting up a tight frame of Mr. Baldwin drawing a revolver ahead of a gunfight when the weapon fired a live round, striking Ms. Hutchins and then hitting the movie’s director, Joel Souza, who survived.

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