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Alec Baldwin Scores Major Win on Eve of ‘Rust’ Manslaughter Trial

Alec Baldwin
TMZ/Getty Composite

Alec Baldwin just received a significant legal victory as a substantial part of the prosecution’s case was dismissed the day before his manslaughter trial began.

The presiding judge ruled that prosecutors cannot present evidence of Baldwin’s involvement as a producer on the film. This element was a key part of the state’s argument that Baldwin’s alleged negligence led to the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Court TV

Baldwin held the title of Executive Producer on the set, though several other EPs were more directly involved in day-to-day operations.

Prosecutors had previously argued that Baldwin neglected his producer responsibilities by allowing unsafe conditions on set, ultimately leading to Hutchins’ death.

However, the judge stated, “I’m having real difficulty with the state’s position that they want to show that as a producer, he didn’t follow guidelines, and therefore, as an actor, Mr. Baldwin did all these things wrong resulting in the death of Halyna Hutchins because as a producer, he allowed this all to happen.”

Legal Documents
Facebook/Serge Svetnoy

The judge emphasized that the decision-making process among producers extended far beyond Baldwin’s control. He ruled that the probative value was not substantially outweighed by unfair prejudice and potential confusion for the jury.

As a result, the prosecution is now limited to arguing that Baldwin was reckless as an actor. This focuses on the fact that he pointed the gun in the direction of Hutchins and did not check the chamber before firing. Nonetheless, this argument faces complications.

Crucially, the armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed has already been found guilty of manslaughter. She was the individual responsible for ensuring that the firearm did not contain live ammunition.

This recent ruling is likely to weaken the prosecution’s case considerably.

Source: TMZ, Court TV