Alec Baldwin's Involuntary Manslaughter Charge Upheld
Cover Images/Janet Mayer

A New Mexico judge has ruled against the actor's motions to dismiss an involuntary manslaughter charge against him, paving the way for his trial to proceed.

AceShowbiz - The courtroom was tense as Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer delivered her decision on New Mexico's most talked-about case. On Friday, June 21, Sommer upheld the involuntary manslaughter charge against actor Alec Baldwin, marking a pivotal moment in the legal battle connected to the tragic incident on the set of the Western movie "Rust" in 2021.

Baldwin's defense team had filed two motions on May 6, arguing for a dismissal on the grounds of "failure to allege a criminal offense" and "destruction of evidence." These followed a previous motion that was also rejected by Judge Sommer less than a month prior. Despite these efforts, Sommer ruled that essential facts remained disputed and should be determined by a jury, stating, "There does exist disputed facts before the court that are not capable of dismissal as a matter of law."

Central to Baldwin's defense was the argument that he was unaware the gun he held contained live ammunition. "If he didn't know of the substantial risk that it had live ammunition in it, he can't be guilty," argued John Bash, one of Baldwin's attorneys. The prosecutors, however, countered this claim, asserting that the jury should decide Baldwin's fate.

The destruction of the prop gun during FBI testing added another layer of complexity to the case. Baldwin's lawyers contended that the gun's destruction violated due process, claiming it could have provided exculpatory evidence. They stated, "Government agents knew that the firearm would not survive their clumsy 'tests' intact. They said so explicitly in emails." However, no definitive ruling emerged from this argument as the hearing concluded without a decision. A follow-up hearing was scheduled for Monday, June 24.

Four days before the June 21 hearing, Baldwin's legal team introduced an additional motion accusing prosecutors of misconduct, alleging they withheld evidence. This latest motion also seeks to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charge.

The "Rust" shooting incident has already seen other legal repercussions. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer responsible for weapons on set, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in March and sentenced to 18 months in prison. The case against Baldwin continues to unfold, with his trial set for July. If convicted, he faces up to 18 months in prison.

With intense courtroom debates and legal maneuvering ongoing, the Baldwin case captures public attention, posing significant questions about accountability and safety in Hollywood.

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