movie industry

Judge denies Alec Baldwin’s motion to dismiss manslaughter charge


This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Judge denies Alec Baldwin’s motion to dismiss manslaughter charge

FILE PHOTO: Actor Alec Baldwin appears in court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 23, 2019.

Alex Tabak/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

The judge rejects arguments by Baldwin's laywers that the charge should be dismissed against the actor, who fired the round that killed 'Rust' cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

A New Mexico judge on Friday, June 28 denied a request by actor Alec Baldwin to dismiss a manslaughter charge he faces for the 2021 fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the film set of the movie Rust.

In her ruling, the judge rejected arguments by Baldwin’s lawyers in a hearing June 21 and Monday that the charge should be dismissed because the gun that fired the round that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was damaged during testing by the FBI following her death, preventing his lawyers from conducting their own testing.

Baldwin is scheduled for a July trial.

Hutchins was shot with a live round after Baldwin pointed a gun at her as she set up a camera on a film set near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The 30 Rock star has denied responsibility for Hutchins’ death, saying the gun went off on its own after he pointed it at the cinematographer and cocked it. He denies pulling the trigger, an assertion that has become central to the case.

Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez, who mistakenly loaded a live round into the revolver involved in the shooting, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced in April to 18 months in prison, the same term Baldwin will face if found guilty.

Baldwin’s legal team said prosecutors had built their case around the unproven hypothesis the gun was properly functioning and could not have gone off unless Baldwin pulled the trigger. Baldwin’s lawyers argued the gun was modified, allowing it to fire without a trigger pull.

Judge Mary Sommer said in her ruling to dismiss Baldwin’s motion that his attorneys were not able to prove that prosecutors damaged the gun knowing it could prove anyone’s innocence, nor could they prove that they could not obtain “comparable evidence” after the gun was damaged.

Sommer agreed the gun is central to the case, and said prosecutors would have to call witnesses who can explain to jurors how it was damaged and its relevance.

An initial involuntary manslaughter charge prosecutors filed against Baldwin in January 2023 was dropped after, according to a person familiar with the case, the actor’s legal team presented evidence the revolver was modified, allowing it to fire without the trigger being pulled.

Then an independent firearms expert determined the gun would not fire at the full cock position without the trigger being pulled.

Kari Morrissey, a veteran Albuquerque criminal defense attorney who in March 2023 was appointed as a special prosecutor in the Rust case, went to a grand jury, which earlier this year charged Baldwin a second time with involuntary manslaughter. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!