Attorneys Demand Dismissal of Alec Baldwin Manslaughter Case

( – Attorneys for actor Alec Baldwin are asking the court to dismiss a charge of involuntary manslaughter that stemmed from a 2021 incident on the set of the troubled Western film “Rust.”

During rehearsal, Baldwin pointed the gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when it went off, killing her and injuring Joel Souza, the director. Baldwin claims he did not pull the trigger, but merely pulled back the hammer on the firearm. Prosecutors do not believe him, saying that the gun “could not have fired” if the trigger had not been pulled, and that the gun was in fine working order on the day of the incident.

In their motion to dismiss filed with the court, Baldwin’s lawyers say the gun was damaged by FBI forensic technicians when they examined it, thus destroying evidence that might have helped Baldwin’s case. They claim investigators destroyed the gun by hitting it with a mallet. They have brought out a heretofore-undisclosed expert report that they say casts doubt on how certain tool marks came to be present on the gun’s firing mechanics.

Unless Judge Mary Marlowe-Summer rules to dismiss the case after an upcoming hearing on July 1st, Baldwin’s manslaughter trial will proceed in July. He has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, Baldwin could get a maximum of 18 months in prison.

One member of the ill-fated movie crew is already locked up. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armorer, had responsibility for ensuring set safety for actors and crew working with firearms. She was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in March after prosecutors persuaded the jury that the gun was not defective, that its safety features were in working order, and that Gutierrez-Reed had failed in her duties.

While prosecutors may want Gutierrez-Reed to testify, they may not be able to compel her to do so. They are likely, however, to make heavy use of statements she made to investigators in the aftermath of the shooting.

The case has been full of turnarounds. Prosecutors initially dismissed the involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin last year but brought them back after getting a new analysis of the gun they were able to use to secure Baldwin’s indictment.

Copyright 2024,