Alec Baldwin’s day in court has finally begun. The 66-year-old actor is facing involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with the tragic death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in 2021. If convicted, Baldwin could potentially face up to 18 months in prison. The jury listened to opening statements from both the prosecution and defense, and the state presented four witnesses on Day 1 of the trial.

Baldwin arrived at the courthouse accompanied by his wife, Hilaria Baldwin, and other family members, including his brother Stephen Baldwin. Throughout the proceedings, he appeared serious and focused, often taking notes and closely observing the evidence presented onscreen. Hilaria was seen offering comfort to her husband during breaks. Baldwin’s demeanor was somber as he listened to the testimonies and arguments.

The defense team, led by attorney Alex Spiro, attempted to shift the blame away from Baldwin. They specifically pointed fingers at the film’s first assistant director, David Halls, who had declared the gun “cold” before handing it to Baldwin. Spiro also criticized armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed for allegedly failing to fulfill her duties. The defense argued that Baldwin had no intention of causing harm, and the gun discharged accidentally during a rehearsal.

On the other hand, the prosecution claimed that Baldwin mishandled the firearm on set and failed to follow proper safety protocols. Special prosecutor Erlinda Ocampo Johnson accused Baldwin of numerous safety breaches while handling the weapon. The prosecution asserted that the trigger must have been pulled for the gun to discharge, despite its subsequent damage during testing.

During the trial, four witnesses took the stand, including officers and technicians involved in the investigation. The first witness, Nicholas LeFleur, described the aftermath of the incident and interactions between Baldwin and Halls. The second witness, Timoteo Benavidez, established the gun’s chain of custody. Detective Joseph Lujan testified about questioning Rust director Joel Souza after the accident. Crime scene technician Marissa Poppell revealed that the gun had been damaged while in FBI custody.

As the trial progresses, Poppell’s testimony will continue, and she will face cross-examination from Baldwin’s defense team. Prosecutors are expected to call more witnesses when the court reconvenes. The trial will resume on Thursday morning in Santa Fe, N.M., as both sides present their cases in the closely watched legal battle. The outcome of the trial remains uncertain as the court delves deeper into the complexities of the case.