Alec Baldwin to stand trial after US judge denies bid to dismiss charge of involuntary manslaughter against actor

25 May 2024, 09:22 | Updated: 25 May 2024, 09:48

Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin previously pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter following the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins
Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin previously pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter following the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Flaminia Luck

Alec Baldwin will stand trial as planned in July after a US judge denied his bid to have a charge of involuntary manslaughter against him dismissed.

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The Hollywood actor's been charged over the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on set of the film Rust in 2021.

The 66-year-old will stand trial in New Mexico in July where he faces a prison sentence if convicted.

He has already pleaded not guilty.

The actor could face 18 months in prison
The actor could face 18 months in prison. Picture: Getty

Lawyers acting for the actor said "we look forward to our day in court" after a judge denied their bid to throw out his criminal case.

On Friday, New Mexico Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer rejected arguments made by Baldwin's lawyers Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro for dismissing the case, finding that the grand jury process was not prejudiced against the star.

"It is therefore ordered that defendant Alec Baldwin's motion to dismiss the indictment is hereby denied," the judge wrote at the end of her ruling.

In a joint statement given to the PA news agency, Mr Nikas and Mr Spiro said: "We look forward to our day in court."

Baldwin will stand trial as scheduled from July 9, in Santa Fe after a prop gun he was holding went off, killing Ms Hutchins.

The star will face a maximum of 18 months in prison if convicted after trial.

This was the sentence Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed received after a jury found her guilty of the same charge.

Her defence lawyer has filed an appeal notice.

Read more: Pressure on Alec Baldwin as Rust cinematographer's family speak out after armourer's conviction

Read more: Super Size Me documentary maker Morgan Spurlock dies aged 53

Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was sentenced for 18 months in April
Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was sentenced for 18 months in April. Picture: Getty

In March, Baldwin's lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter case, alleging violations of court orders and other legal faults by the prosecution in the grand jury process.

During the virtual court hearing last week, Mr Spiro said the court needed to "step in and check this abuse of power", telling the judge "the court can have no comfort in this indictment".

"This is a homicide case, prosecutors are required to do better than this. This indictment should be dismissed," he said.

While lead prosecutor Kari Morrissey defended her position, confirming to the judge "this isn't something nefarious" and "there is no bad faith here".

"The defence wants somehow to try to convince the court that the actor who is holding a real gun in his hand has absolutely no responsibility for what he does with that gun, and it's simply not the case," she said.

She concluded: "Everything that he is saying to you right now is a complete misrepresentation about what has happened, and that is what these people do."

The judge asked several follow-up questions of Ms Morrissey, before ultimately denying the motion to dismiss the charge against Baldwin on Friday - a week after the virtual hearing.

Read more: Calls for mobile phones to be totally banned for under 16s

Halyna Hutchins was 42 when she died
Halyna Hutchins was 42 when she died. Picture: Getty

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