Jury selection for Alec Baldwin’s alleged involuntary manslaughter trial begin today

Jury selection is set to begin Tuesday in Alec Baldwin’s alleged involuntary manslaughter trial in the fatal 2021 shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western film Rust in New Mexico.

Baldwin, who was both acting in and producing the movie, faces charges stemming from the incident in which he was rehearsing a scene with a revolver when the gun discharged a live bullet, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.

The selection of jurors is expected to last through the day. The trial’s first day is Wednesday and could last through July 19.

If convicted, Baldwin faces up to 18 months in prison.

The charges against Baldwin were originally dropped in April 2023 after the local district attorney’s initial case fell apart when prosecutors said evidence showed the gun had been modified in a way that would make it easier for the firearm to accidentally discharge – only to be reinstated in January months later after a New Mexico grand jury heard new evidence – to which Baldwin pleaded not guilty for the second time to involuntary manslaughter charges.

New Mexico Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer in May denied Baldwin’s request to dismiss the new involuntary manslaughter charge.

He was practicing what’s known as a cross-draw in a church on the movie set in Santa Fe, N.M., when the gun fired a live round, striking Hutchins, who died, and Souza, who sustained a non-life-threatening injury.

The gun in question was supposed to have been loaded with blanks, but a live round was in the gun.

Baldwin has maintained that he did not pull the trigger when the gun went off and denied responsibility for Hutchins’ death on the grounds that there were supposed to be no live rounds on set, while prosecutors argue Baldwin disregarded the risks by declining to participate in the armorer’s safety check and that he handled the gun in a way that the rehearsal did not require.

His lawyers argue Baldwin could not have been responsible for Hutchins’ death, as actors are expected to rely on professionals to ensure the safe handling of weapons on set.

An independent report last year insisted it was nearly impossible for the weapon to fire without the trigger being pulled likely by Baldwin himself in a report that hinted how he could again face manslaughter charges. (UPI)

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