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New Mexico judge hears Alec Baldwin 'Rust' manslaughter dismissal motion

A New Mexico judge Friday heard a motion by actor Alec Baldwin to dismiss manslaughter charges against him for the 2021 'Rust' film set shooting. Cinematographer Halny Hutchins was killed when a prop gun Baldwin was holding discharged. File Photo by Peter Foley/UPI
A New Mexico judge Friday heard a motion by actor Alec Baldwin to dismiss manslaughter charges against him for the 2021 'Rust' film set shooting. Cinematographer Halny Hutchins was killed when a prop gun Baldwin was holding discharged. File Photo by Peter Foley/UPI | License Photo

May 17 (UPI) -- A New Mexico judge Friday is hearing actor Alec Baldwin's motion to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charge in the 2021 fatal shooting on the "Rust" film set.

A prop gun held in Baldwin's hand during a rehearsal discharged, killing cinematographer Halny Hutchins. It was supposed to have been loaded with blanks, but a live round was in the gun.

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In the dismissal motion court filing, Baldwin's defense lawyers said prosecutors allegedly violated rules to get a grand jury indictment against Baldwin, who was also a "Rust" producer.

"The state prosecutors have engaged in this misconduct -- and publicly dragged Baldwin through the cesspool created by their improprieties -- without any regard for the fact that serious criminal charges have been hanging over his head for two and a half years. Enough is enough," the motion said.

Prosecutors countered that Baldwin rushed production of the film and lacked concern for safety on the set and have also said they believe Baldwin has changed his story about what happened over time.

Charges against Baldwin were dropped in April 2023, then reinstated in January.

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He faces up to eighteen months in prison if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty.

The armorer working on the film, Hanna Gutierrez-Reed, was also charged with involuntary manslaughter.

She was sentenced in April to eighteen months in prison, which is the maximum allowable in New Mexico for involuntary manslaughter.

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