15 March 2024

Alec Baldwin files to dismiss involuntary manslaughter charge in Rust shooting

15 March 2024

Alec Baldwin’s lawyers have asked a judge to dismiss an involuntary manslaughter charge against the actor over a fatal shooting on a film set, accusing prosecutors of “violating nearly every rule in the book” in acquiring the indictment.

Among the claims, it is alleged the state prosecutors violated court orders by disclosing information to the media, and gave the grand jury instruction on involuntary manslaughter that “unfairly stacked the deck against Baldwin”.

“Enough is enough,” his lawyers said.

Baldwin was re-charged with involuntary manslaughter in January this year, and is set to face a trial scheduled in July, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He is accused of involuntary manslaughter after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on the western film set of Rust in October 2021 after a prop gun held by Baldwin went off.

“This is an abuse of the system, and an abuse of an innocent person whose rights have been trampled to the extreme. The court should dismiss the indictment,” his lawyers said.

The motion claimed that the prosecution “unlawfully deprived” the grand jury of evidence that was favourable to Baldwin, which included a failure to make Baldwin’s witnesses “available to testify”.

It added that prosecutors had “publicly dragged Baldwin through the cesspool created by their improprieties, without any regard for the fact that serious criminal charges have been hanging over his head for two-and-a-half years”.

Special prosecutor Kari Morrissey told the PA news agency: “We will only respond in court pleadings and have 14 days from tomorrow to file our response.”

The motion to dismiss comes days after Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter after a two-week trial.

The charge in which she was found guilty carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and a 5,000 dollar (£3,900) fine.

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