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Question of firearm training might absolve Alec Baldwin of negligence in ‘Rust’ shooting, says trial attorney

Trial attorney Jeff Harris said that a question of negligence on the “Rust” movie set following the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins could come down to the level of firearm training that actor Alec Baldwin received. 

“It may ultimately boil down to really a question of whether or not the actor was appropriately trained in the use of firearms, and that would fall on the production company, and it might absolve Baldwin of negligence,” said Harris, who is not representing any party involved in the incident.

Baldwin’s production company, El Dorado Pictures, was producing the upcoming film. Neither a rep for Baldwin nor El Dorado Pictures immediately responded to CNBC’s request for comment. 

The assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin a loaded gun on the movie set admitted to investigators that he did not check the revolver carefully enough, according to a search warrant released Wednesday. The Santa Fe County Sheriff also confirmed Wednesday that there was a real bullet in Baldwin’s revolver and that investigators found even more suspected live rounds on set. 

Harris served as the lead trial attorney on the lan Jones v. CSX case and secured an $11.2 million verdict on behalf of the family of camera operator Sarah Jones, who was killed while working on the “Midnight Rider” movie. 

He told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that gross negligence likely occurred on the set of “Rust.” 

“I frankly think that if you have a movie set where you’ve got live ammunition that is intermingled with dummy ammunition and intermingled with blanks, that’s the kind of activity that rises to the level of gross negligence, and I do believe that someone, ultimately, is going to be charged with at least criminal negligence in this case,” said Harris.

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