USA News

Judge denies Alec Baldwin request to drop Rust manslaughter case

  • Author, Sam Cabral
  • Role, BBC News

A US judge has denied a request from Alec Baldwin to dismiss a manslaughter charge stemming from the deadly 2021 film set shooting.

Halyna Hutchins, 42, was shot to death with a gun Mr. Baldwin was using during a rehearsal on the set of Rust, a western filmed in New Mexico.

Director Joel Souza was also injured in the incident.

Mr. Baldwin is expected to go on trial in July.

Mr. Baldwin maintained that he did not pull the trigger and only removed the hammer from the gun.

He also claimed he was not responsible for Ms Hutchins’ death because he did not know the gun contained live bullets and no live bullets were supposed to be on set.

In April, the gun handler on the set, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was sentenced to 18 months in prison. She appealed the conviction last week.

Mr. Baldwin, 66, was indicted in January by a grand jury that brought a new charge of involuntary manslaughter after prosecutors said there was new forensic evidence. He pleaded not guilty.

Similar charges against the Emmy-winning actor were dropped last year, just two weeks before a criminal trial against him began.

Mr. Baldwin’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss earlier this month, accusing prosecutors of “unethical disparagement” and “violating almost every rule in the book” to secure an indictment. of the grand jury against the actor.

In a virtual hearing on May 17, Alex Spiro and Luke Nikas made their arguments before New Mexico District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer.

“This is a case involving an accident bordering on criminal law,” Mr Spiro said.

He noted that the charges had already been dropped before the state’s special prosecutors brought them back, saying they wanted to “humiliate” Mr. Baldwin.

In a ruling issued Friday evening, Judge Sommer denied the request, rejecting arguments that the grand jury proceedings were prejudicial to the actor.

In a statement, Mr. Baldwin’s lawyers said: “We look forward to our day in court. »

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