Alec Baldwin’s role as a producer will not be considered during ‘Rust’ trial, judge rules

In a significant victory for the defense, Alec Baldwin’s role as a producer on the movie “Rust” will not be considered in his involuntary manslaughter trial for the 2021 shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer made the ruling during a motions hearing on Monday, just one day before jury selection is set to begin in the Santa Fe, New Mexico trial. Baldwin’s position as a producer has consistently been part of the prosecution’s strategy to showcase that he had additional responsibility on the movie set beyond his work as the star of the film.

Now, with the judge not allowing evidence related to his role as a producer, the jury will consider Baldwin solely as an actor who was holding the gun involved in the fatal shooting as part of his role – not as the boss or as a supervisor who was responsible for set safety.

“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,” Marlowe Sommer said.

Baldwin himself was not solely responsible for on-set decisions, the judge said, stating there were other producers on the project.

“The probative value is not substantially outweighed by unfair prejudice and certainly confusion of issues to the jury, so I’m denying evidence of his status as a producer, Marlowe Sommer said.

Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. It is not known if he will take the stand to testify.

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