JUDGE DENIES ALEC BALDWIN’S MOTION TO DISMISS INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER CHARGES IN ‘RUST’ SHOOTING

A New Mexico judge denied a motion Friday from Alec Baldwin’s attorneys asking the court to dismiss the actor’s involuntary manslaughter indictment in a shooting on the set of the film “Rust,” in which cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died.

A separate motion to dismiss from Baldwin’s team will be considered at a hearing on June 24. The case is slated to go to trial in July in Santa Fe.

In the first motion to dismiss, an attorney for Baldwin, John Bash, argued the shooting death of Hutchins on set in October 2021 was an accident and Baldwin is “not criminally liable.”

Prosecutor Kari Morrissey countered Baldwin is experienced in the movie business.

“Mr. Baldwin knew he had a real gun in his hand. Mr. Baldwin specifically asked for the biggest gun that was available. Mr. Baldwin knew and understood that dummy rounds look identical to live ammunition,” Morrissey said. Furthermore, she argued, Baldwin was aware armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed “wasn’t following the rules” when she was doing gun safety checks on the set of “Rust.”

Gutierrez Reed was convicted in March of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 18 months in prison. She is appealing the conviction.

In the second motion to dismiss the case, Baldwin’s team argued the gun used in the shooting was destroyed during forensic testing by the FBI, making it impossible for the defense to attempt to recreate the testing. The judge is set to rule on the motion following a hearing scheduled for next Monday.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer also denied a motion from the prosecution to provide “use immunity” for Guiterrez Reed. Use immunity protects a witness from the use of their own testimony against them.

Trial set for July

Special prosecutors have signaled they intend to portray Baldwin as repeatedly flouting safety protocols on the movie set in the days before the fatal shooting, according to a new court filing.

In a notice to Baldwin’s attorneys on evidence they intend to present in court next month, prosecutors outlined repeated instances in which Baldwin allegedly acted dangerously between October 12 and October 21, 2021, and a key focus will be the defendant’s “reckless behavior.”

Prosecutors in the filing argue the evidence “is relevant because it is part of the crime of involuntary manslaughter as it shows defendant’s recklessness or criminal negligence on October 21, 2021, when he shot and killed Halyna Hutchins.”

Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection to Hutchins’ death.

Luke Nikas, an attorney for Baldwin, had no comment Wednesday about the prosecution document, but referred CNN to the defense’s most recent filing asking the court again to dismiss the indictment and accusing the prosecution of selected disclosure of evidence.

In a statement to CNN last month following a judge’s refusal to dismiss the charge, Baldwin’s legal team said, “We look forward to our day in court.”

Prosecutors cited video evidence from the set obtained during the state’s criminal investigation, laying out examples of Baldwin’s alleged mishandling of the replica revolver he used during the movie’s production, according to the court document filed Monday and obtained by CNN.

Baldwin, prosecutors alleged, “used his gun as a pointer directing crew members,” “discharged the revolver after the filming was over and ‘cut’ was called,” “engaged in horseplay with the revolver while making videos,” pointed the gun and fired a blank round at a crew member “while using that crew member as a line of site as his perceived target” and “shot several scenes wherein he placed his finger on the trigger of the revolver where the scene did not require any shooting of the firearm.”

Baldwin previously told CNN he did not pull the trigger on the weapon during the deadly incident.

“I never took a gun and pointed at somebody and clicked the thing,” Baldwin said at the time.

The special prosecution team also alleged Baldwin was “inattentive during the firearms training” conducted by on-set armorer Gutierrez Reed, claiming the actor was texting and video conferencing with family members rather than focusing on the safety briefing.

In addition to holding the gun when it fired the fatal round, Santa Fe County’s district attorney previously told CNN Baldwin’s role as a producer for the film also opens him up to potential liability for the alleged culture of unsafe practices on the “Rust” set.

In the filing, special prosecutors repeatedly insisted Baldwin exercised complete control over the set and crew during instances where alleged unsafe practices were identified on video.

Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza injured when a gun held by Baldwin fired a live round during a scene rehearsal on the set of the western.

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2024-06-22T00:38:38Z dg43tfdfdgfd