Alec Baldwin’s Attorneys Move to Dismiss ‘Rust’ Manslaughter Charge

Defense counsel for the actor slammed New Mexico prosecutors for “abuse of the system” in dismissal motion

Alec Baldwin's role in an on-set death on "Rust" highlighted the issue of crew safety.
Alec Baldwin's role in an on-set death on "Rust" highlighted the issue of crew safety.

Attorneys for Alec Baldwin have filed a motion to dismiss the manslaughter charge made against him in connection to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust,” accusing special prosecutors for the New Mexico District Attorney of “abuse of the system.”

Baldwin was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter for allegedly pointing a gun at Hutchins during rehearsal of a scene. The gun, which contained live ammunition unbeknownst to Baldwin, fired and fatally struck Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza. Baldwin has been accused of pulling the trigger on the gun, which the actor denies.

In the motion filed on Thursday, Baldwin’s attorneys accused special prosecutor Kari Morrissey of failing to inform the grand jury that indicted the actor and producer of the availability of witnesses who would have testified that it was not the actor’s duty to inspect the gun he was holding. Those witnesses include Souza as well as “Rust” assistant director Dave Halls.

The attorneys say that while those witnesses were not called to testify before the grand jury, Morrissey relied heavily on testimony from the state’s expert witness Bryan Carpenter, who said that Baldwin was responsible for handling of the firearms.

Baldwin’s attorneys also accused the prosecutors of disclosing information about the grand jury proceedings to the press against the judge’s orders and providing inaccurate jury instruction on the involuntary manslaughter charge.

“The State had one goal — indict Baldwin, no matter the truth, no matter the rules or the Court rulings, and no matter what it took to do so,” Baldwin’s attorneys wrote. “This is an abuse of the system, and an abuse of an innocent person whose rights have been trampled to the extreme.”

The dismissal motion comes days after “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. She will be sentenced next month and faces up to 18 months in federal prison. Baldwin’s trial is set to begin on July 9.

TheWrap has reached out to the New Mexico DA’s office for comment.


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