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Alec Baldwin jurors hear oral arguments Wednesday

Nearly three years after the death of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, New Mexico prosecutors prepared to make opening statements in the manslaughter trial of actor Alec Baldwin in a shooting that shocked Hollywood.

A New Mexico jury of 12 people and four alternates — 11 women and five men chosen Tuesday (9) — will hear prosecutors on Wednesday outline their arguments that Baldwin disregarded safety during the filming of the low-budget movie before pointing a gun at Hutchins during a rehearsal, cocking it and pulling the trigger as they set up a camera on a set southwest of Santa Fe.

The reproduction 1873 Single Action Army revolver fired a live round, inadvertently loaded by gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez, that killed the rising cinematographer and wounded director Joel Souza.

Since a police interview on October 21, 2021, the day of the shooting, Baldwin has argued that the gun simply “went off.”

In an interview with ABC News two months later, Baldwin told George Stephanopoulos that he did not pull the trigger. A 2022 FBI test found that the gun was in normal working order and would not fire at full force without the trigger being pulled.

State prosecutors charged Baldwin with manslaughter in January 2022. They dropped the charges three months later, shortly after Baldwin’s attorneys presented photographic evidence that the gun had been modified, arguing that it would fire more easily, bolstering the actor’s argument of accidental discharge.

Prosecutors convened a grand jury to reinstate the indictment in January after an independent firearms expert confirmed the FBI’s 2022 study.

FBI tests broke the gun, and Baldwin’s lawyers will tell jurors that the gun’s destruction prevented them from proving the weapon was modified.

The weapons expert whose work on the set of “Rust” included the safe management of firearms was convicted of manslaughter in March.

Prosecutors will have to convince jurors that Baldwin is also guilty of willful and reckless criminal negligence.

Source: CNN Brasil

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