Alec Baldwin loses latest appeal to dismiss ‘Rust’ case

A New Mexico judge denied actor Alec Baldwin’s latest attempt to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charge over the fatal 2021 shooting on the set of “Rust,” keeping the case on track to go to trial early next month.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer sided with prosecutors, rejecting Baldwin’s attempt to drop the charge over the firearm evidence, The Associated Press reported.

Baldwin’s defense attorneys argued that the gun responsible for the shooting was damaged during FBI forensic testing, before it could be examined for potential modifications or problems that could help Baldwin’s case.

The judge’s decision clears the way for prosecutors to bring the case to a jury, which is scheduled to begin July 9 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, The AP said.

Attorneys plan to call a list of witnesses including Joel Souza, the director of Rust who was also wounded in the shooting, and Dave Halls, the assistant director who pleaded no contest to negligent use of a deadly weapon, among others.

Baldwin pointed the gun at Halyna Hutchins, a cinematographer, on the set of the film in 2021. The revolver went off, killing her and wounding Souza.

The actor has pleaded not guilty, arguing that he did not pull the trigger on the prop gun, which was erroneously loaded.

The FBI accidentally broke the gun during a test, striking it from different angles with a mallet. Prosecutors will argue the gun was once working properly and could not have fired without the trigger pulled.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the movie’s armorer, is serving an 18-month sentence after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter. She was sentenced in April.

Charges against Baldwin were brought and then dropped last year after prosecutors became aware of new evidence. The prosecution brought forth the charges again last fall.

Hutchins’s family sued Baldwin in civil court last year. He had already settled a suit from her husband.

The film resumed filming in Montana last year and is expected to be released sometime in 2024 or later, Yahoo Entertainment reported.

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