Watch live: Alec Baldwin's 'Rust' shooting trial begins

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Published  July 10, 2024 7:07am CDT

SANTA FE, N.M. - Opening statements in Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial are set to begin on Wednesday, as the trial delves into the fatal shooting of a cinematographer Halyna Hutchins nearly three years ago on a movie set in New Mexico. 

Hutchins’ death while filming a low-budget Western movie on a remote ranch sent shock waves through the film industry and led to one felony charge against Baldwin that could result in up to 18 months in prison.

Sixteen jurors — 11 women and five men — were selected on Tuesday. Four of the jurors will be deemed alternates.

Jury selection complete in Alec Baldwin trial

The jury for Alec Baldwin's 'Rust' shooting trial was chosen Tuesday in New Mexico, where he is charged with involuntary manslaughter. Legal affairs journalist Meghann Cuniff breaks it down with LiveNOW from FOX's Andrew Craft.

Follow along for live updates:

8 a.m. ET: When does the trial start? How long will it last?

Alec Baldwin’s trial is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. MT (10:30 a.m. ET) on Wednesday.

It's taking place in Santa Fe and is expected to last nine days if things stay on schedule.

‘Rust’ movie shooting

Alec Baldwin 'Rust' shooting bodycam released

Police have released body camera footage from the scene of the "Rust" film set where Alec Baldwin fatally shot Halyna Hutchins while filming a scene for the movie. The shooting is still under investigation and a wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the production and Baldwin on behalf of Hutchins' family.

A dozen people were inside a movie set church the day Alec Baldwin shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza during a rehearsal for the Western film "Rust." It happened Oct. 21, 2021. 

The crew was rehearsing in the small church on the movie set at Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico.

Baldwin, the lead actor and co-producer of the film, has claimed the gun fired accidentally after he followed instructions to point it toward Hutchins, who was behind the camera. Unaware that it was loaded with a live round, he said he pulled back the hammer — not the trigger — and it fired.

A judge has ruled his role as co-producer of the film is not relevant to the trial, a significant victory for the defense.

RELATED: Rust movie shooting: Jury convicts movie armorer of involuntary manslaughter

Alec Baldwin trial

Alec Baldwin’s trial, which is taking place in Santa Fe, began the week of July 9 with jury selection. It’s expected to last nine days, with opening statements on Wednesday, July 10, and closing statements Friday, July 19, if things stay on schedule.

Baldwin is charged with felony involuntary manslaughter, and prosecutors have two alternative standards for proving the charge:

  • Baldwin carried out negligent use of a firearm.
  • Baldwin acted with total disregard of indifference to the safety of others.

The 12 jurors will have to reach just one verdict — guilty or not guilty — on a single count.

US actor Alec Baldwin exits the courthouse after appearing during a pretrial hearing ahead of his trial for involuntary manslaughter in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on July 8, 2024. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

US actor Alec Baldwin exits the courthouse after appearing during a pretrial hearing ahead of his trial for involuntary manslaughter in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on July 8, 2024. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Two major themes are likely to emerge through questioning: the chaotic atmosphere of the movie set, and the details of the Italian-made classic revolver that Baldwin pointed at Hutchins. 

The trial will be streamed and broadcast by several outlets, including LiveNOW from FOX. Here’s how to watch

Viewer discretion is advised, as the judge ruled graphic images from Hutchins' autopsy and from police lapel cameras during the treatment of her injuries could be shown. 

RELATED: Where to watch LiveNOW from FOX

Is Alec Baldwin in jail?

No, Alec Baldwin has not been in jail while awaiting trial. 

Baldwin remained free pending trial under conditions that include not possessing firearms, consuming alcohol or leaving the country. Baldwin can have limited contact with witnesses when it comes to promoting "Rust," which has not been released for public viewing. Baldwin is prohibited from asking members of the "Rust" cast or crew to participate in a related documentary film.

Will Alec Baldwin go to jail?

Baldwin, 66, could get up to 18 months in prison if jurors unanimously decide he committed the felony.

RELATED: 'Rust' movie medic awarded $1.15 million partial settlement

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer is presiding over Alec Baldwin’s trial. 

She also presided over the trial of Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was working as an armorer on "Rust" when the deadly shooting happened. Gutierrez-Reed was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 18 months, the same charge and sentencing Baldwin faces. 

When sentencing Gutierrez-Reed in April, the judge told the defendant that anything less than the maximum sentence would not be appropriate, citing what she called recklessness. 

If Gutierrez-Reed's trial is any indication, Marlowe Sommer will keep the attorneys on track and on schedule in what will be a high-profile proceeding.

Megan Ziegler and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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