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Alec Baldwin’s Lawyers Unleash Fury on Prosecutors in Dramatic Bid to Toss ‘Rust’ Charges

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Motion Filed After Armorer’s Conviction

Actor Alec Baldwin’s lawyers on Thursday asked a judge to dismiss manslaughter charges against him for the 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during filming of the Western movie “Rust,” alleging prosecutorial misconduct. The motion was filed eight days after a jury found the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez guilty of involuntary manslaughter in a separate trial.

‘Enough is Enough’

“Enough is enough. This is an abuse of the system and an abuse of an innocent person whose rights have been trampled to the extreme,” said the motion. The trial is set for July 10 in New Mexico. Hutchins died when the reproduction Colt. 45 revolver Baldwin was rehearsing with fired a live round that also wounded director Joel Souza.

Criminal defendants routinely seek to dismiss charges, which judges rarely do. But charges against Baldwin have dropped once already, and the trial of Gutierrez was Hollywood’s first for an on-set fatal shooting in nearly 30 years.

Gutierrez is due to be sentenced on April 15 and faces up to 18 months in state prison.

Allegations of Prosecutorial Misconduct

Baldwin’s lawyers argued that prosecutors have “publicly dragged Baldwin through the cesspool created by their improprieties.” They also claimed that the state withheld “substantial exculpatory and favourable evidence” from the grand jury.

Defence lawyers offered legal arguments, including that prosecutors failed to call a witness who would have testified that Baldwin’s role as producer was purely for creative purposes and he had no role in enforcing safety protocols or hiring a crew.

Special prosecutor Kari Morrissey said she would respond in court and had 14 days to file a reply.

In New Mexico, defence lawyers can call witnesses to a grand jury if the defendant testifies. In Baldwin’s case, he did not take the stand at the January grand jury proceeding. Prosecutors must alert the grand jury of witnesses and evidence the defence has presented and give jurors the chance to hear those witnesses and see evidence if requested.

Charges and Potential Sentence

Baldwin faces two counts of manslaughter, one for negligent use of a firearm and another for failure to exercise due caution. The fourth-degree felonies carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.

Baldwin was first charged with involuntary manslaughter in January of 2023. The charge was dismissed three months later when his lawyers presented evidence the revolver Baldwin was using had been modified and it could fire without the trigger being pulled. The “30 Rock” actor has denied responsibility for Hutchins’ death, saying the gun went off without him pulling the trigger.

Morrissey in January called a grand jury to indict Baldwin after an independent test of the gun found it would not fire without the trigger being pulled. The test confirmed a previous FBI examination.

Image credits: Wallpapers.com

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Karishhma Mago is an entrepreneur, cryptocurrency expert, and personal branding consultant. She’s the founder & CEO of Facilius Inc. and Digital Nod, the premier digital PR agencies servicing global brands and influential public figures. With a penchant for entrepreneurship, brand building, social media, and cryptocurrency, she brings a wealth of expertise to her contributions to several esteemed publications. If not behind her laptop screen, you will find her reading her favorite books, traveling, or playing with her daughter.
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