Baldwin had 'no control' of self on fatal 'Rust' set: prosecutor

Baldwin had 'no control' of self on fatal 'Rust' set: prosecutor


Baldwin, 66, is set to go on trial in New Mexico in July for involuntary manslaughter

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Alec Baldwin had "no control" over himself on the set of a film where a cinematographer was shot dead, according to the prosecutor who has charged him with manslaughter.

The A-lister was holding a Colt .45 during the preparation of a scene in the budget Western "Rust" when it went off, killing Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

Baldwin, 66, is set to go on trial in New Mexico in July for involuntary manslaughter, a charge he denies.

In a court filing released Monday, prosecutor Kari Morrissey sketched the outlines of what the jury might hear, including how Baldwin's allegedly unpredictable behavior contributed to the tragedy, and how he kept changing his story in its aftermath.

"Mr. Baldwin was frequently screaming and cursing at himself, at crew members or at no one and not for any particular reason," Morrissey wrote.

"To watch Mr. Baldwin's conduct on the set of 'Rust' is to witness a man who has absolutely no control of his own emotions and absolutely no concern for how his conduct affects those around him.

"Witnesses have testified that it was this exact conduct that contributed to safety compromises on set."

The film's young armorer, Hannah Gutierrez, who was responsible for loading the live round into the gun Baldwin used, was convicted last month of involuntary manslaughter after a two-week trial that heard how her lackadaisical approach to the job had led to a series of dangerous episodes.

The 26-year-old is due to be sentenced next week. "The combination of Hannah Gutierrez's negligence and inexperience and Alec Baldwin's complete lack of concern for the safety of those around him would prove deadly," Morrissey wrote.

In her filing, Morrissey said Baldwin, whose high-powered legal team includes eight attorneys, has repeatedly contradicted himself about the shooting in official interviews and in media appearances.

This has included a lengthy sit-down with ABC journalist George Stephanopoulos, which she called a "shameless attempt to escape culpability," and in which he claimed for the first time that he had never pulled the trigger.

"Every time Mr. Baldwin spoke, a different version of events emerged from his mouth, and his later statements contradicted his previous statements."

An FBI investigation found that the gun could not have fired if the trigger had not been pulled, evidence that is expected to be presented at trial.

The October 2021 tragedy sent shockwaves through Hollywood and led to calls for a complete ban on the use of weapons on movie sets.

Industry insiders, however, insisted that rules were already in place to prevent such incidents, and that those working on "Rust" had simply not followed them.

Baldwin is on bail awaiting trial. If convicted, he faces up to 18 months in prison. The filming of "Rust" concluded last year in the state of Montana, with Hutchins' widower joining the crew as a producer. No release date has yet been announced.