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Alec Baldwin’s attorneys say he is the victim of a district attorney who is pursuing his own interests.

Alec Baldwin is either a man who recklessly violated a “basic rule” of gun safety or a “shiny object” for a pair of New Mexico prosecutors who don’t have a case. Those were the arguments made by special prosecutor Erlinda Ocampo Johnson and Baldwin’s defense attorney Alex Spiro Wednesday morning as Baldwin’s manslaughter trial began in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Baldwin, his brother Stephen and his wife Hilaria, who were sitting behind him in the courtroom, watched as Johnson told the jury that 30 Rocks the star should be held criminally responsible for the death Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Baldwin “played pretend with a real gun and violated a cardinal rule of firearm safety,” Johnson said, outlining how the state plans to use video footage, ballistics evidence and expert testimony in the case against the actor. “He pointed the gun at another person, cocked the hammer and pulled the trigger, disregarding Ms. Hutchins’ safety.”

While Johnson painted the case against Baldwin as a reckless man with a gun, Spiro asked the jury to consider him as something else entirely: an actor with a gun from birth. “He’s Harland Rust,” Spiro said, mentioning Baldwin’s name in an independent Western. “He’s a criminal running from death. His mind is somewhere else, in the being of another, a hundred years away, a criminal.”

Spiro tried to address the jurors as an audience, referring to films such as King Kong, Superman, Platoon AND Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid“Movies and magic have always been closely linked,” Spiro said. “The evidence will show that guns are in movies because guns are in people’s lives.”

Spiro told the jury that Baldwin was not tasked with checking the gun, that that responsibility fell to assistant director Dave Halls and gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. The attorney recounted footage from the scene, Rust The crew was filming when Hutchins was shot. “It’s a fake church,” Spiro said. “The actors are in costume. And they’re yelling, ‘cold gun.’ That means no one has to worry. That means it’s empty, it’s inert, it’s cosmetic, it can’t hurt. Cold guns can’t hurt people. That’s why these artists continue their art. It was a tragic accident, of course, but Alec didn’t commit any murder. He was just acting like he had for generations, and it was the security apparatus that let them all down.”

Gloria Allred, who is representing Halyna Hutchins’ mother and sister in the civil case, sat behind prosecutors, holding a framed photo of the camerawoman with her mother and son, Andros.

After opening statements, prosecutors began their case by questioning Deputy Nicholas Lefleur, one of the first officers on the scene, and showing footage from Lefleur’s lapel camera. “Halyna, deep breath, deep breath, Halyna. Good girl. There you have it. Good girl,” the medic says in the footage from LeFleur’s body camera, which shows the 42-year-old cameraman on the floor of the church set after the shooting. The footage shows Baldwin talking to Lafleur outside the church. “I was the one holding the gun,” he says.