Judge Rejects Alec Baldwin’s Motion To Dismiss Manslaughter Charges, Paving The Way For July Trial


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Alec Baldwin’s manslaughter trial will remain on track for early July after a judge denied a request to dismiss the case on complaints that key evidence was damaged by the FBI during forensic testing, the AP reported.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer sided with prosecutors in rejecting another motion to dismiss the case. The rejection comes a little over a month after a separate motion was denied.

Defense attorneys argued that the gun used in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was heavily damaged during forensic testing. This, the legal team argued, was done before it could be tested for possible modifications or problems that might exonerate the actor.

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With Judge Sommer’s rejection of the motion, one of the last remaining hurdles for prosecutors has been removed. Jury selection is set to begin on July 9 in Santa Fe.

During the trial, Baldwin’s attorneys expect to call on witnesses from a court-approved list of nearly 60 people. Potential witnesses include director Joel Souza, who was wounded in the shooting, as well as assistant director Dave Halls, who has already pleaded no contest to negligent use of a deadly weapon. Other witnesses will include first responders, investigators, firearms experts and people who witnessed the shooting on set.

Baldwin, who is now fully set to go on trial next month, has claimed that he did not pull the trigger of the prop gun he was holding.  A firearms expert has disputed Baldwin’s claims, stating that the trigger would have needed to be pulled in order for the gun to fire.

In October, a forensic report concluded that the trigger of the prop Colt .45 revolver had been pulled “sufficiently” enough to cause the gun to fire.

“Although Alec Baldwin repeatedly denies pulling the trigger, given the tests, findings and observations reported here, the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver,” reads a firearms report that was commissioned by the state of New Mexico.

If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Baldwin faces up to 18 months in prison.

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Scoop Diggins