Judge denies Alec Baldwin's motion to dismiss in Rust shooting manslaughter case

Baldwin Set Shooting
-Credit: (Image: 2023 Invision)

In a recent development, attorneys for US actor Alec Baldwin have spoken out stating "we look forward to our day in court" after their attempt to have the actor's criminal case dismissed was denied by a judge.

Baldwin, a renowned Hollywood figure, had previously entered a plea of not guilty to involuntary manslaughter connected to the tragic on-set fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the western film Rust in October 2021.

The dismissal request by Baldwin's lawyers Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro was rejected by New Mexico Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer this past Friday. She found no prejudice against Baldwin in the grand jury process, Baldwin is currently 66 years old.

"It is therefore ordered that defendant Alec Baldwin's motion to dismiss the indictment is hereby denied," wrote Judge Marlowe Sommer as her ruling concluded.

Looking towards the future, Mr Nikas and Mr Spiro gave a joint statement to the PA news agency: "We look forward to our day in court."

The trial involving Baldwin is scheduled to proceed from July 9, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, following an incident where a prop gun Baldwin was handling discharged, resulting in the death of Ms Hutchins.

If Baldwin is convicted post-trial, he faces a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.

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Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was handed this same sentence after a jury found her guilty of identical charges. An appeal notice has been filed by Gutierrez-Reed's defence lawyer.

Alleging noncompliance with court orders and other legal errors by the prosecution during the grand jury process, Baldwin's lawyers submitted a motion to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter case back in March.

During last week's virtual court session, Mr Spiro argued forcefully for judicial intervention against what he termed an "step in and check this abuse of power" asserting to the judge that "the court can have no comfort in this indictment".

"This is a homicide case, prosecutors are required to do better than this. This indictment should be dismissed," he contended.

In response, chief prosecutor Kari Morrissey stood her ground, assuring the judge "this isn't something nefarious" and stressing "there is no bad faith here".

"The defence wants somehow to try to convince the court that the actor who is holding a real gun in his hand has absolutely no responsibility for what he does with that gun, and it's simply not the case," she countered.

She wrapped up her argument by stating: "Everything that he is saying to you right now is a complete misrepresentation about what has happened, and that is what these people do."

After posing several probing questions to Ms Morrissey, the judge ultimately rejected the motion to dismiss Baldwin's charge on Friday exactly one week following the virtual hearing.

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