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Prosecutors: New evidence Baldwin was reckless before ‘Rust’ shooting

GABRIELA CAMPOS/THE NEW MEXICAN/POOL VIA REUTERS / FEB. 29
                                A still from a video clip displayed at the First Judicial District Courthouse shows actor Alec Baldwin, during Rust film set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s involuntary manslaughter trial at the First Judicial District Courthouse in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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GABRIELA CAMPOS/THE NEW MEXICAN/POOL VIA REUTERS / FEB. 29

A still from a video clip displayed at the First Judicial District Courthouse shows actor Alec Baldwin, during Rust film set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s involuntary manslaughter trial at the First Judicial District Courthouse in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

New evidence shows that Alec Baldwin was reckless with a revolver before the weapon fired a live round that killed “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in 2021, prosecutors alleged ahead of the actor’s July manslaughter trial.

The evidence, which includes images and video from the crew and a set photographer, shows Baldwin pointed his gun at a crew member and fired a blank round, held his finger on the trigger when not supposed to and engaged in horseplay with the weapon, special state prosecutors said in a Monday filing.

Baldwin’s legal team said in a Monday motion to dismiss charges that prosecutors had built their case around the unproven hypothesis the gun was properly functioning and could not have gone off unless he pulled the trigger, an act the actor denies.

Baldwin’s legal team argues the gun was modified, allowing it to fire without a trigger pull, an issue that has become central to the 17-month-old case.

Hutchins died after “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez mistakenly loaded a live round into Baldwin’s reproduction Colt .45 revolver during filming in a movie-set church near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Gutierrez in March was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced in April to 18 months in prison, the same term Baldwin will face if found guilty.

Baldwin, the star of “30 Rock,” said he was directed to point the gun toward the camera, he cocked it, and it “went off” on its own.

Among apparently new evidence that prosecutors intend to show at the July 9 trial is an image by set photographer Karen Kuehn taken minutes before a 911 call on the shooting.

In the photo, Baldwin appears to have his finger inside the trigger guard and his thumb on the hammer, prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Erlinda Johnson said in the filing.

A video clip taken by script supervisor Mamie Mitchell a couple of hours before the shooting appears to show Baldwin cock the gun and possibly pull the trigger, the prosecutors said.

In a further unspecified video on the day of the shooting, Baldwin is asked to point the revolver left of the camera and cocks the gun, despite not being asked to. There is some evidence he also pulled the trigger of the gun, prosecutors alleged.

Movie industry firearms safety guidelines tell actors never to put their finger on the trigger until ready to shoot, treat all firearms as though loaded, and not point a gun at anyone unless necessary, and then in consultation with a safety expert.

Some of the video evidence listed by prosecutors appeared to already have been shown at the March trial of Gutierrez.

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