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Judge to Decide Whether to Dismiss Manslaughter Case Against Actor in Deadly ‘Rust’ Shooting

A New Mexico judge will decide next week if the involuntary manslaughter case against Alec Baldwin will proceed. State District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer heard arguments on Friday about whether criminal charges against Baldwin should be dismissed. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Baldwin’s attorneys argued that prosecutors violated the law by failing to present evidence and witnesses favorable to the actor during the grand jury indictment.

“The fix was in,” defense attorney Alex Spiro said, according to KSL. “There were no witnesses there to testify. There was no evidence binder of the defense exhibits.”

Baldwin is accused of fatally shooting “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on set in 2021.  Baldwin’s lawyers told prosecutors that Baldwin was a creative director for “Rust” and he did not control on-set operations. His attorneys also claimed Baldwin’s gun was modified to make it easier to fire without the trigger being pulled.

Though Baldwin told the media he did not pull the trigger, Morrisey alleged that he did not make those claims to investigators. Prosecutors have accused the actor of blaming Hutchins for her own death.

Baldwin has claimed he was showing how he would pull a gun from the holster when the weapon fired in a mock church pew at Bonanza Creek Ranch — leading to a single bullet traveling through Souza’s shoulder which then struck Hutchins.

Baldwin told officers that he believed the gun was cold when he was rehearsing a cross draw. However, the FBI’s investigation concluded that it could not have fired without someone pulling the trigger.

Baldwin was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter in January 2023, but prosecutors dropped the charges in April 2023. At the time, prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis said they needed additional time to investigate new information presented to them, and that their review would not be completed before Baldwin’s preliminary hearing.

The charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning they could be refiled. Prosecutors re-charged Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter in January.

In March, “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering. Reed said that weapons supplier Seth Kenney, not her, was responsible for mixing live and dummy rounds. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Baldwin’s trial is scheduled to begin in July.

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