‘Rust’ prosecutors intend to paint Alec Baldwin as repeatedly ‘reckless’ while handling firearm, court document shows

Special prosecutors in the upcoming “Rust” shooting trial intend to portray actor and film producer Alec Baldwin as repeatedly flouting safety protocols on the movie set in the days before the fatal shooting of the film’s cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, according to a new court filing.

In a notice to Baldwin’s attorneys outlining evidence they intend to present in court next month, prosecutors highlighted repeated alleged instances of Baldwin acting dangerously between October 12 and October 21, 2021, signaling that a key strategy in their case will be centered on the defendant’s “reckless behavior.” Prosecutors argue in the filing that the evidence “is relevant because it is part of the crime of involuntary manslaughter as it shows defendant’s recklessness or criminal negligence on October 21, 2021, when he shot and killed Halyna Hutchins.”

Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection to Hutchins’ death.

One of Baldwin’s attorneys, Luke Nikas, on Wednesday had no comment about the prosecution’s document, but referred CNN to the defense’s most recent filing asking the court again to dismiss the indictment and accusing the prosecution of selected disclosure of evidence.

Baldwin’s criminal trial is scheduled to begin in July. In a statement to CNN last month following a judge’s refusal to dismiss the charge, Baldwin’s legal team said, “We look forward to our day in court.”

In the court document filed Monday and later obtained by CNN, prosecutors cited video evidence from the set obtained during the state’s criminal investigation, laying out examples of Baldwin’s alleged mishandling of the replica revolver he used during the movie’s production.

Among those examples, Baldwin “used his gun as a pointer directing crew members,” “discharged the revolver after the filming was over and ‘cut’ was called,” “engaged in horseplay with the revolver while making videos,” pointed the gun and fired a blank round at a crew member “while using that crew member as a line of site as his perceived target” and “shot several scenes wherein he placed his finger on the trigger of the revolver where the scene did not require any shooting of the firearm,” prosecutors alleged.

Baldwin previously stated to CNN that he did not pull the trigger on the weapon during the deadly incident.

“I never took a gun and pointed at somebody and clicked the thing,” Baldwin said at the time.

The prosecution plans to also focus on instances during which Baldwin is seen on video with his finger on the trigger of the revolver when a shooting scene was not called for, according to the court filing.

The special prosecution team also alleged Baldwin was “inattentive during the firearms training” conducted by on-set armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, claiming the actor was texting and video conferencing with family members rather than focusing on the safety briefing.

In addition to holding the gun when it fired the fatal round, Santa Fe County’s district attorney previously told CNN that Baldwin’s role as a producer for the film also opens him up to potential liability for the alleged culture of unsafe practices on the “Rust” set.

In the filing, special prosecutors repeatedly insisted Baldwin exercised complete control over the set and crew during instances where alleged unsafe practices were identified on video.

Cinematographer Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza injured when a gun held by Baldwin fired a live round during a scene rehearsal on the set of the western.

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