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Alec Baldwin Wants His Manslaughter Case Dismissed; Is it Possible? Lawyer Chimes in

After a 15-month-long battle with the New Mexico State Prosecutors, actor Alec Baldwin is set to face a trial on July 10 for involuntary manslaughter at the sets of the film Rust. The actor’s legal team is seeking the dismissal of this case. The team had filed this motion back in March of this year, citing the case to be an abuse of the “system”  and an “innocent person” whose rights have been “trampled to the extreme.” 

 

 

Alec Baldwin in Rust (PC: IMDb)

What developments have been made in the case? 

Two people involved in the case have already been convicted in this fatal shooting, one being the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison on April 15. The incident took place on the set of this Western Crime Drama on October 21, 2021, when a prop Colt .45 revolver fired a live round, fatally injuring cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Director Joel Souza was harmed in the incident as well. 

While Baldwin’s legal team is pushing for Baldwin to be absolved of the charges, legal expert Emily D. Baker explains to PEOPLE magazine that the possibility of this remains very unlikely. Citing that it is rare for the grand jury indictments to be dismissed, Baker, former L.A. Deputy District Attorney, says “The prosecution has very, very wide latitude at how they conduct a grand jury.”

Nonetheless, here is some hope in the arguments that the motion had made, according to Baker. “The strongest argument is the argument that the state did not present the instructions to the grand jury accurately,” she says, referring to the claims that Baldwin’s lawyers made in the motion that special prosecutor Kari T. Morrissey handed “prejudicial” instructions to the grand jury.

Baker says that the prosecution very much disagrees with how Baldwin’s lawyers have characterized this situation – they have held their ground that Baldwin did not pull the trigger and he was not aware that the prop gun had a live round. 

Special Prosecutors Morrissey and Jason J. Lewis penned a letter on April 5, calling the claims from Baldwin’s legal team “patently false.” 

What does the future hold for Alec Baldwin? 

As the case moves forward, Baldwin’s team has a chance to reply to the prosecution’s response. After that, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer could make the decision on the filings or allow both sides’ attorneys to argue. Baker says it is appropriate in this motion to let the attorneys argue their points. 

As per the final verdict “it comes down to a very narrow question of whether that jury instruction was proper or whether that jury instruction violated what the court ordered about the grand jury,” says Baker. She also adds that even if the case against Baldwin is not dismissed, the situation could still be a win for him, owing to a large legal team as opposed to the two prosecutors, who were joined by Erlinda Johnson. “The prosecution can get buried in the paper here and then their time is substantially taken up dealing with it,” she says, referring to casework for Gutierezz’s trial, motion work, and now the trial. 

 

ALSO READ: ‘Absolutely No Concern’: Prosecutors Claim Alec Baldwin Did Not Have Control Over His Emotions On Rust Set

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