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Rust armourer set for trial over fatal film set shooting

The armourer responsible for weapons on the set of western film Rust is set to go on trial over the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Jury selection in Hannah Gutierrez’s case starts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Wednesday, with the trial expected to get under way once this has taken place.

Ms Hutchins was killed during filming of Rust after a gun held by actor and producer Alec Baldwin went off during a rehearsal in October 2021. Director Joel Souza was also wounded.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins is seen in this undated handout photo received by Reuters on October 23, 2021. Mandatory credit SWEN STUDIOS/Handout via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Image: Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (pictured) died, while director Joel Souza was also injured. Pic: SWEN STUDIOS/ Reuters

Gutierrez has pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence. She faces up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine (about £3,967) if convicted.

Baldwin has also pleaded not guilty to an involuntary manslaughter charge, in a case being dealt with separately.

Gutierrez was responsible for storage, maintenance and handling of firearms and ammunition on set and for training members of the cast who would be handling firearms, according to state workplace safety regulators.

Prosecutors say she unwittingly introduced live ammunition to the set in a series of negligent actions.

Gutierrez’s lawyers say she has been made a scapegoat.

What is happening with Baldwin’s case?

New footage and stills are released of the moment cinemaphotographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of Rust. Pic: Sante Fe Police
Image: Baldwin, pictured on set at the time of the shooting, has been charged separately. Pic: Sante Fe Police

Baldwin was originally charged in January 2023, more than a year after the shooting.

Those charges were dropped a few months later based on evidence the hammer of the revolver might have been modified, allowing it to fire without the trigger being pulled.

The star was then charged again in January this year, and earlier this month pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

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Baldwin has said he pulled back the gun’s hammer – but not the trigger – and the weapon fired.

A trial date for his case has not yet been set.

Filming of Rust resumed last year in Montana – with Baldwin reprising his role as the main character – after an agreement made Ms Hutchins’ widower an executive producer.

Sky News Source