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Alec Baldwin Seeks to Throw Out Manslaughter Indictment in “Rust” Shooting Case

The actor is charged with involuntary manslaughter related to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

<p>John Lamparski/Getty</p> Alec Baldwin attends The Roundabout Gala 2023 in New York City

John Lamparski/Getty

Alec Baldwin attends The Roundabout Gala 2023 in New York City

Alec Baldwin’s lawyers asked a judge to dismiss his Rust manslaughter case, accusing New Mexico prosecutors of “violating nearly every rule in the book” in its pursuit of an indictment against the actor.

Baldwin, 65, was indicted by a New Mexico grand jury in January 2024 for involuntary manslaughter (negligent use of a firearm) or alternatively, with involuntary manslaughter (without due caution or circumspection) in the death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin allegedly pointed a gun at Hutchins, unaware that it was loaded with a live bullet when it discharged. Director Joel Souza was also injured.

The actor pleaded not guilty on Jan. 31 and his trial is scheduled to start in July.

Armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter earlier this month. She was acquitted of a separate charge of tampering with evidence.

John Lamparski/Getty Alec Baldwin
John Lamparski/Getty Alec Baldwin

Related: Halyna Hutchins' Parents and Sister 'Satisfied' with Rust Armorer's Guilty Verdict After Cinematographer's Death

In Thursday’s motion to dismiss, Baldwin’s lawyers accused prosecutors of leaking information to the press, claiming they did not know about prosecutors’ criminal case against Baldwin began in January 2023 until after the Wall Street Journal contacted them.

They also accused special prosecutor Kari Morrissey of speaking to the press the same day she told Baldwin of her plans to present the case to a grand jury in October, six months after the previous special prosecutors dropped the original charges against Baldwin. This was "yet another disclosure that violated basic rules governing grand jury secrecy," his lawyers claim.

His lawyers also accused prosecutors of not presenting exculpatory evidence to the grand jury and claimed the state violated “Ex Post Facto clauses of the U.S. and New Mexico Constitutions” when they charged Baldwin with a “firearm enhancement that had not been enacted when the accident occurred.” (The firearms enhancement charge was dropped in February 2023.)

Related: Halyna Hutchins' Family Attorney Says SAG-AFTRA's Defense of Alec Baldwin 'Flies in the Face of Common Sense'

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Prosecutors did not make witnesses who could have testified that it was not Baldwin’s responsibility to check the gun before filming available to the grand jury, his attorneys claim. Baldwin wanted Souza and other witnesses they believed could be helpful to Baldwin to testify, alleging that "every favorable fact was hidden, and all of the grand jury’s inquiries about exculpatory information were redirected to witnesses who misrepresented the facts or had no foundation for giving the answers."

“Enough is enough,” Baldwin’s lawyers claimed. “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.”

Later in the document, Baldwin’s lawyers claim prosecutors had “one goal,” to “indict Baldwin, no matter the truth, no matter the rules or Court rulings, and no matter what it took to do so.”

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