Alec Baldwin faces hearing evidence from up to 44 people at the start of his involuntary manslaughter case.
The 64-year-old actor was last week charged over the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western in October 2021, and is set to appear in Santa Fe for a preliminary court hearing in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on February 24.
Court documents show 44 witnesses including ‘Rust’ director Joel Souza – who was wounded by the bullet that hit Halyna – are lined up to give evidence at the hearing, along with armor and prop worker Seth Kenney, camera assistant Lane Luper, line producer Gabrielle Pickle and script supervisor Maime Mitchell.
The group could all appear in person in court along with government forensic examiners and investigators, Mail Online reported on Monday. (06.02.23)
Halyna, 42, was killed when a prop gun went off during rehearsals on the set of ‘Rust’, and the film’s head armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed also faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter over the death, with her and Alec facing a maximum of five years in prison if found guilty.
Script supervisor witness Maime Mitchell was the first to call 911 after Halyna was shot and was standing the closest to her when the bullet that killed her was fired.
She filed a lawsuit in 2021 against Alec and others on the set of ‘Rust’, claiming assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, deliberate infliction of harm – and a claim the scene being filmed did not require a gun to be fired.
Maime said in 2021: “I will never forget what happened on the set of ‘Rust’ that day.
“I relive the shooting and the sound of the explosion from the gun over and over again.”
Alec has denied involuntary manslaughter, and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer Jason Bowles last week told TMZ she was “stretched too thin” on the film.
He added she had asked for more time to focus on her armorer duties but was denied the request and allegedly wasn’t called back into the church by the assistant director David Halls to fully instruct Alec on weapon handling.
Mr Bowles said: “Hannah was not called back into that church. She asked David Halls specifically, ‘If Baldwin is going to use that gun, then call me back into that church, so I can instruct him on the usage of the gun, I can reinspect that gun, and I can tell him where to point it, and work with him on it’.
“She was never called back in. So when the (District Attorney) talks about the armorer’s responsibility, this and that, she wanted to do her job, but she was prevented from doing her job. That’s the big distinction.”
Mr Bowles also said Hannah had asked David to use a “plastic gun” but was allegedly told a “real gun” was wanted.