Alec Baldwin denied motion to dismiss manslaughter charges in actor’s latest effort over ‘Rust’ case

0
24
Alec Baldwin denied motion to dismiss manslaughter charges in actor’s latest effort over ‘Rust’ case

A judge decided not to dismiss Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter charges in a ruling filed Friday.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer denied another one of the “30 Rock” actor’s attempts to get rid of the charges that could land him behind bars for a maximum of 18 months, according to court documents obtained by Fox News Digital.

Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to the death of Halyna Hutchins. The cinematographer died Oct. 21, 2021 after a gun Baldwin was holding discharged on the “Rust” film set.

ALEC BALDWIN FILES NEW DEMAND TO DISMISS INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE DAYS AFTER HAMPTONS OUTING

Alec Baldwin is shown sitting in the church where Halyna Hutchins was killed in outtakes from the “Rust” production used in court. (Courtesy: New Mexico Courts)

Halyna Hutchins poses for a selfie

Halyna Hutchins died on the set of “Rust” in October 2021. (Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi LLP)

Sommer heard arguments from Baldwin’s legal team that his charges should be dropped due to destruction of evidence during a hearing that spanned two days.

The Pietta 45 Colt revolver replica used in the shooting was destroyed during testing conducted by the FBI at the request of the prosecution. The “intentional” destruction of the gun by the prosecution keeps Baldwin from having a fair trial, according to the court docs.

“Simply put, there is no way to undo what the government has done,” his lawyers wrote in court documents obtained by Fox News Digital. “Although Baldwin’s attorneys can make their best effort to persuade a jury that the defects or modifications to the sear and hammer notches – including the virtually nonexistent full-cock notch – preexisted the FBI’s testing, Baldwin has forever lost the chance to probe that fact without doubt, because the government did not even take the basic step of documenting the condition of the firearm’s internal components before destroying it.”

“And Baldwin’s counsel will never be able to test the firearm in its original state to determine whether pulling the hammer would have resulted in a discharge.”

Alec Baldwin interviewed after 'Rust' shooting

Alec Baldwin makes a gun with his fingers while speaking with investigators following the “Rust” movie shooting in 2021. (Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office)

ALEC BALDWIN WANTED ‘BIGGEST GUN FOR ’RUST’ FILMING, ‘DISPLAYING RECKLESS BEHAVIOR’ WITH FIREARM: PROSECUTORS

Alec Baldwin on set of "Rust"

Alec Baldwin heads to court in July for an involuntary manslaughter trial stemming from the 2021 “Rust” shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. (Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department)

The Emmy Award-winning actor filed a fifth bid to have the involuntary manslaughter charges dropped while his legal team finished up arguments in the June 21 and June 24 hearings.

His lawyers requested an order dismissing the indictment with prejudice in an expedited motion for relief. They argued that the state violated discovery obligations by not immediately disclosing “critical evidence” deemed favorable to Baldwin’s defense, that “fundamentally reshapes the way Baldwin would have prepared for trial.”

“The State’s strategy – trial by ambush – is grossly prejudicial and abhorred by courts,” documents stated. “The reason for that is obvious: Baldwin has had to divert substantial time and resources just to pursue the growing list of undisclosed discovery that continues to emerge from hiding – not to mention the time it takes to review more than 150,000 pages of documents and countless hours of audio recordings and videos that have been dumped on Baldwin just weeks before trial.”

His team continued, “Baldwin deserves to be treated just like any other criminal defendant, and both federal and state law point in one direction: dismissal.”

LIKE WHAT YOU’RE READING? CLICK HERE FOR MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Alec Baldwin on Rust set

Alec Baldwin and crew finished filming “Rust” in May 2023. (Reuters)

All of Baldwin’s previous attempts to have the charges dismissed have been denied. Judge Sommer found the prosecution’s grand jury proceeding was not prejudicial against Baldwin.

The judge also rejected the defense’s argument that the prosecution failed to show that the 66-year-old actor even committed a crime. His lawyers pointed out that the prosecution admitted the “prospect of live ammunition” being present on the “Rust” set was “incomprehensible.” Additionally, the filing noted it was the armorer’s responsibility to ensure the gun didn’t contain live rounds.

“With no awareness that the firearm might contain live rounds, Baldwin had no reason to believe – zero – that his manipulation of the firearms could lead to death, let alone a belief that his alleged actions posed a substantial risk to Hutchins.”

However, the judge sided with the state.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER

Hannah Gutierrez Reed being led out of a courtroom

The “Rust” armorer was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in March. (Luis Sánchez Saturno – Pool/Getty Images)

Hannah Gutierrez Reed wears khaki jail uniform at her sentencing

Hannah Gutierrez Reed was sentenced to 18 months in prison. (Courtesy: New Mexico Courts)

During the June 21 hearing, Judge Sommer also ruled that the state could not compel “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed to testify at Baldwin’s upcoming trial. However, Gutierrez Reed’s testimony from her own nearly two-week-long trial will likely be used in the prosecution’s case against the actor.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Gutierrez Reed was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in March after a jury found that the “Rust” armorer was responsible for the gun that discharged a live bullet on the Western film set that killed Hutchins. She was sentenced to the maximum of 18 years behind bars and is currently appealing her conviction.

Gutierrez Reed was also found not guilty of evidence tampering, a charge she received in 2023 after investigators accused her of passing off a bag of cocaine on the day of the fatal set shooting.

Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here