Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial scheduled for July after motion to dismiss denied

This news has been read 386 times!

Alec Baldwin

LOS ANGELES, May 25: Alec Baldwin, 66, will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in July, following a judge’s denial of a motion to dismiss the case on Friday.

Kari Morrissey, one of the prosecutors, stated that “the actor has responsibility for the firearms once it is in their hands.” However, Baldwin’s lawyers argued that Morrissey did not provide essential evidence to the grand jury earlier this year and that defense witnesses were unavailable.

The judge, according to Variety, noted that Morrissey had shared a letter from the defense with the grand jurors verbatim, but the jurors chose not to follow up on it. “The Court is not in a position to second-guess the grand jury’s decision in this regard,” the judge stated. She added that while the State deferred certain questions, the grand jurors asked probative questions and received complete answers from witnesses.

In October 2021, Hutchins was fatally shot on the set of “Rust,” while the film’s director, Joel Souza, was injured. Baldwin has pleaded not guilty and denied pulling the trigger or being responsible for ensuring the gun’s safety.

Last month, “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was sentenced to 18 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter of Halyna Hutchins. An expert warned that her sentence could be a bad sign for Baldwin as his trial date approaches.

Baldwin had been offered a plea deal last year that would have involved no jail time, but prosecutors rescinded the offer and decided to indict him. A filing from prosecutor Kari Morrissey offered a plea deal identical to the one accepted by Dave Halls, the first assistant director on “Rust.” Halls did not serve prison time but received six months of unsupervised probation, a $500 fine, 24 hours of community service, and was ordered to take a firearm safety class.

Baldwin’s lawyers have accused the prosecutors of various abuses and are seeking to have the case dismissed. They claim that Morrissey leaked confidential information about the grand jury proceedings to an NBC reporter. In November, Baldwin’s lawyers filed a motion for sanctions over this issue, asking to have Morrissey and her co-counsel removed from the case and seeking monetary penalties against Morrissey for alleged misconduct.

At a hearing on November 15, the judge overseeing the case admonished the parties not to disclose any grand jury proceedings details and postponed the grand jury proceeding to January to allow more time for reviewing defense materials. Baldwin’s attorneys allege that Morrissey immediately informed the NBC reporter about the scheduling update, which NBC reported citing an unnamed source.

In March, Baldwin and his attorney, Alex Spiro, claimed that the prosecutors rigged the jury process by adding biased witnesses and failing to present all evidence from FBI testing of the pistol used in the fatal incident. The FBI testing reportedly showed that the revolver could fire without the trigger being pulled when fully loaded, as was the case on the day of the tragedy.

During the trial of Gutierrez-Reed, agent Bryce Ziegler testified that he had to break the gun with a mallet to get it to fire without using the trigger, contradicting Baldwin’s claim that he only pulled back the hammer.

The trial also revealed a chaotic film set, with six camera crew members quitting over safety concerns the night before the incident. Baldwin, who was the lead actor and a producer on the movie, commissioned director Joel Souza to write the script and owned the rights to the film. Gutierrez-Reed’s defense argued she was a scapegoat for broader safety failures, which led to a $136,000 fine from New Mexico safety regulators.

In 2022, Baldwin settled a civil lawsuit filed by Matthew Hutchins, Halyna Hutchins’ widow, and the father of their son. Under the settlement, “Rust” continued production at a new location in Montana, with Matthew Hutchins serving as an executive producer. No release date for the film has been set.

This news has been read 386 times!

Back to top button

Advt Blocker Detected

Kindly disable the Ad blocker

Verified by MonsterInsights