Alec Baldwin Wants 'Rust' Manslaughter Charge Thrown Out Due to "Abuse of the System"

His lawyers have accused prosecutors of "violating nearly ever rule in the book" in the process of obtaining the indictment

Photo courtesy of Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Mar 15, 2024

To no one's surprise, Alec Baldwin is looking to get the charge of involuntary manslaughter he was indicted on for his role in the on-set death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in 2021 dismissed, citing "abuse of the system."

As per Variety, the actor's attorneys filed the motion to dismiss yesterday (March 14), accusing the prosecution of "violating nearly every rule in the book" in the process of obtaining the January indictment. The State allegedly did not make Baldwin's witnesses available to testify when the defence wanted the jury to hear testimony from Rust director Joel Souza, assistant director Dave Halls, and producer Ryan Smith, among others).

His representation further claimed that prosecutors leaked information to the press, failed to present exculpatory evidence to the grand jury and gave them a faulty instruction on involuntary manslaughter that "stacked the deck" against Baldwin.

“Enough is enough,” the lawyers wrote. “This is an abuse of the system, and an abuse of an innocent person whose rights have been trampled to the extreme.”

The attorneys also argued that it was not the actor's duty to inspect the prop gun (which he's been accused of criminal negligence for pointing at Hutchins and pulling the trigger, not knowing it was loaded with at least one live bullet that killed the filmmaker and injured Souza) — a responsibility that would have fallen on on-set armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter last week for her involvement in the tragedy.

Baldwin is due in court in Sante Fe, NM, on July 9, to face the charge, which was once dropped after initially being brought forth in January 2023. However, new evidence supporting his "criminal culpability" surfaced in the investigation last October, and he now faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted.

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