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New Mexico Judge Denies Alec Baldwin’s Request to Dismiss Charges Against Him From ‘Rust’ Shooting

A New Mexico judge on Friday rejected a request by actor Alec Baldwin to dismiss an involuntary manslaughter charge against him for the fatal movie set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in 2021. The decision clears the way for Baldwin’s trial to begin in July, KOAT reported.

Baldwin’s attorneys argued that the special prosecutors overseeing the case flouted grand jury rules to misdirect jurors attention from exculpatory evidence.

Those prosecutors have gone on the offensive, including in a televised interview, to present their case to the public, saying Baldwin has been “shameless” in his attempts to avoid responsibility.

State District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer heard the arguments from both sides in court last week. In her ruling, she said that prosecutors had no duty to present exculpatory evidence and have “broad discretion as to what evidence to present to, or exclude from, the grand jury, and courts will not review any good-faith decisions the prosecutor makes in that regard once an indictment is returned,” The Hollywood Reporter said.

Baldwin was handling a gun handed to him by an assistant director and declared “cold” — not loaded with live ammunition — during a rehearsal for the movie “Rust” when Hutchins was fatally shot, as CrimeOnline reported. The assistant director, David Halls, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and testified against set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, earlier this year. Halls is also expected to testify against Baldwin.

Gutierrez-Reed, as armorer, was responsible for making sure weaponry used on the set was properly handled. She said she had no idea how live ammunition got into the gun but didn’t check it before it ended up in Baldwin’s hands. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison, the maximum Baldwin could also face.