Judge Upholds Alec Baldwin’s Involuntary Manslaughter Charge Third Time In Rust Shooting Case Making Way For Trial; Details Inside

Alec Baldwin is still treading in troubled waters following his involvement in the 2021 Rust shooting case.

Published on Jun 30, 2024  |  07:38 PM IST |  40.9K
Alec Baldwin Charged Of Involuntary Manslaughter For Third Time By Judge
Alec Baldwin (PC: YouTube/97 Minutes (2023) Official Trailer)

Trigger Warning: This article contains mention of death and violence. 

Alec Baldwin is still treading in troubled waters following his involvement in the 2021 Rust shooting case. A New Mexico Judge has upheld the charges of involuntary manslaughter against the TV star for the third time this week. 

The decision simply makes it difficult to further prove Alec Baldwin’s innocence to the defense as his case will proceed to the trial. His lawyers are, however, accusing the prosecutors of violations. 

Judge rules against Alec Baldwin for Rust shooting case 

New Mexico Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer ruled in favor of the State and upheld the charges against Alec Baldwin, 66, for the shooting death of Rust cinematographer, on Friday, June 28. This marks the third ruling given against the actor in five weeks, the case will now go to trial scheduled for July 9. 

For those unaware, Baldwin involuntarily fired a prop gun with live ammunition while filming the Western movie, Rust, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and also injuring the director, Joel Souza in 2021, per People. Since then, the Emmy winner has been legally battling to get his case tossed and prove his innocence. 

If found guilty during the trials, he will be facing up to 18 months in prison. A similar fate to Rust armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was responsible for handling the set weapons. She is serving an 18-month sentence after being ruled guilty of involuntary manslaughter, again, by Judge Sommer. 

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Baldwin has denied all allegations by the prosecutors. He claims that he was unaware the firearm was loaded with real ammunition and did not even pull the trigger when it discharged bullets, causing the fatality. 

How are Alec Baldwin’s attorneys dealing with the case?

Though the actor's lawyers are considering all ways out of the case, little seems to be working. They filed a motion in May after the Judge’s second ruling and contested the State’s actions alleging the violation of the actor’s due process. 

The claim was backed by the fact that prosecutors had destroyed the firearm in question which was “potentially exculpatory evidence” for the defense. “Government agents knew that the firearm would not survive their clumsy ‘tests’ intact. They said so explicitly in emails,” the motion filed on May 6, stated. 

Furthermore, Baldwin’s lawyers highlighted the prosecutor’s ignorant act of not preserving the gun’s original state via photos or videos, and also not informing the defense of the tests’ destructive nature. The prosecutors argued that Baldwin and his counsel had not been able to establish that the firearm was “exculpatory” evidence. 

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Following the June 21 and June 24 testimonies heard by Judge Sommer, she echoed the prosecutors’ stance. She ruled that the Defendant “failed to establish” that the prosecutors destroying the firearm while accidental testing could have “exonerated” Baldwin from the charges. Also, his lawyers could not provide proper evidence on whether the State knew before damaging the firearm that it had any exculpatory value. 

Earlier, Baldwin’s lawyers pointed out that the gun’s user manual stated that the trigger could go off when kept in a particular position after an FBI firearms expert testified that 2.5 pounds of force were needed to fire the gun, per People. 

Regardless, Judge Sommer was least convinced with the defense and upheld the charges on Alec Baldwin for the third time in a row. 

Disclaimer: If you need support or know someone who is struggling with any kind of abuse, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist, NGO or speak to someone about it. There are several helplines available for the same.

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ALSO READ: Alec Baldwin’s Rust Trial Set To Proceed As Judge Upholds Involuntary Manslaughter Charge Once Again; Details

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