July 14th, 2024

Alec Baldwin’s case is on track for trial in July as judge denies request to dismiss

By Morgan Lee, The Associated Press on June 28, 2024.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – A court ruling on Friday put an involuntary manslaughter case against Alec Baldwin on track for trial in early July as a judge denied a request to dismiss the case on complaints that key evidence was damaged by the FBI during forensic testing.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer sided with prosecutors in rejecting a motion to dismiss the case.

Defense attorneys had argued that the gun in the fatal shooting was heavily damaged during FBI forensic testing before it could be examined for possible modifications or problems that might exonerate the actor-producer. The ruling removes one of the last hurdles before prosecutors can bring the case to trail.

During a rehearsal on the set of the Western film “Rust” in 2021, Baldwin pointed a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when the revolver went off, killing her and injuring director Joel Souza. Baldwin has maintained that he pulled back the gun’s hammer but not the trigger and has pleaded not guilty.

The FBI conducted an accidental discharge test on the gun by striking it from several angles with a rawhide mallet, eventually breaking the gun. Prosecutors plan to present evidence at trial that they say shows the firearm “could not have fired absent a pull of the trigger” and was working properly before the shooting.

Baldwin has twice been charged in Hutchins’ death. Prosecutors dismissed an earlier charge, then refiled it after receiving a new analysis of the revolver that Baldwin pointed at Hutchins.

“Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is serving an 18 month sentence on a conviction for involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting, as she appeals the jury verdict.

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