Judge clears way for Alec Baldwin to go to trial next week after last-minute efforts to toss ‘Rust’ case fail

Alec Baldwin in 2022. - Andrew Kelly/Reuters

A New Mexico judge has cleared the way for the prosecution of Alec Baldwin next week, refusing the latest in a series of attempts by the actor and his legal team to have his criminal case connected to the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the 2021 set of the film “Rust” dismissed.

On Wednesday, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer denied two motions filed by Baldwin’s legal team last week alleging prosecutors had improperly handled evidence procedures in the case.

In a motion filed June 24, Baldwin’s team had claimed evidence regarding the firearm used in the shooting was not properly disclosed to the defense, which impacted “the way Baldwin would have prepared for trial.”

In a second motion filed the same day, the actor’s attorneys accused prosecutors of “trial by ambush” by alleging they withheld thousands of evidence files until just weeks before trial.

Separately, Baldwin’s team had previously asked the court to exclude the testimony from two prosecution firearms experts. However, Marlowe Sommer ruled Wednesday that she is reserving a decision on that motion until it is determined whether they will actually be called to testify in court.

Marlowe Sommer has denied repeated efforts by Baldwin’s team to dismiss his indictment, including a past motion claiming destruction of evidence, and a motion that sought to throw out the case because the fatal shooting of Hutchins was an accident.

Jury selection in Baldwin’s trial is scheduled to start next Tuesday in Santa Fe.

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