Alec Baldwin’s lawyers ask judge to dismiss Rust manslaughter charges

Lawyers for US actor Alec Baldwin have asked a judge to dismiss involuntary manslaughter charges against him over a fatal shooting on a movie set in 2021.

A new court motion accuses prosecutors of “unfairly stacking the deck” against the Emmy award-winning actor.

Special prosecutor Kari Morrissey said she would respond in court and has 14 days to file a reply, Reuters reports.

Mr Baldwin denies responsibility for the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The 65-year-old actor was practising firing a Colt .45 pistol before filming a scene for Rust, a forthcoming Western filmed near Santa Fe, New Mexico, in October 2021.

But the gun went off, with a live round fatally striking 42-year-old Ms Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

He has maintained he did not pull the trigger and only drew back its hammer.

Previous charges were dropped last April, but Mr Baldwin was indicted again in January after prosecutors said new tests had revealed the incident could have only taken place if the trigger had been pulled.

The new motion filed by his attorneys alleges prosecutorial misconduct.

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

His lawyers argue the prosecution withheld “substantial exculpatory and favourable evidence” from the grand jury in the case – including failing to call a witness who they say would have testified he had no role in enforcing safety protocols or hiring crew.

The motion to dismiss comes eight days after the film’s armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. The 26-year-old is yet to be sentenced and faces up to 18 months in jail.

Mr Baldwin’s trial is set for 10 July in New Mexico.

Source: BBC

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