Alec Baldwin fails to get Rust manslaughter case dismissed yet again

Alec Baldwin will be tried on charges of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Halyna Hutchins next month

Alec Baldwin fails to get Rust manslaughter case dismissed yet again
Alec Baldwin Photo: Ignat/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Much as his legal team has tried to avoid it, Alec Baldwin will be going to court for charges of involuntary manslaughter over the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins while filming the movie Rust. It’s been a long road, with charges against the actor initially dropped in April 2023 and filed again in January 2024. On Friday, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer denied the defense’s latest motion to have the case dismissed, per Deadline. The trial is set to commence next month.

Baldwin’s lawyer John Bash argued on Friday that the state has failed to establish “that Mr. Baldwin had a subjective awareness of a risk that the firearm in this case is loaded with live ammunition,” he said. “Without that essential piece, the state cannot establish the element of the offense.” The argument goes, because Baldwin was allegedly told that his gun was “cold” and everyone believed that the prop guns only had dummy rounds, he was unaware of the danger the gun posed, and therefore can’t be held criminally negligent.

The prosecution, however, argued that Baldwin had a responsibility to check the gun himself (other actors on set were reportedly seen “dry firing” to make sure their guns were clear), per Variety. Further, lead prosecutor Kari Morrissey asserted that Baldwin should have known that armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was “inexperienced and incompetent” and therefore should have double-checked her work.

Ultimately, the judge sided with the prosecution. “As an actor he is not supposed to be pointing a gun at someone,” she said (via Deadline), citing SAG-AFTRA rules. “He pulled the trigger when he was pointing a gun that he didn’t need to point.” The judge also denied a motion by the prosecution to allow Gutierrez-Reed immunity in the trial, meaning the young armorer—who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter earlier this year—will likely not testify in Baldwin’s trial.

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