Alec Baldwin Will Still Stand Trial For Fatal 2021 ‘Rust’ Shooting, New Mexico Judge Rules

A New Mexico judge has decided today that Alec Baldwin will still be going to trial this summer for the October 2021 fatal shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

“It is ordered that defendant Alec Baldwin’s Motion to dismiss the indictment is hereby denied,” said Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer in her just released ruling Friday. Baldwin’s trial is set to start in Santa Fe on July 9. The State v. Alexander Rae Baldwin trial is expected to last about two weeks.

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Evaluating a number of issues the defense had with the way the most recent indictment against Baldwin was constructed and the manner in which it was presented to a Grand Jury, Judge Sommer rejected all of the claims against the prosecution.

“After review of transcripts from the January 18, 2024 and January 19, 2024 grand jury presentations, the Court does not find that the ‘prosecuting attorney assisting the grand jury’ engaged in ‘intentional misconduct’ reflecting ‘dishonesty of belief, purpose, or motive’ in the course of the attorney’s ‘presentation of evidence to the grand jury,'” she wrote in the 25-page order (read it here).

The move to confirm that the Rust star and producer will face involuntary manslaughter charges, and a possible 18 months behind bars if found guilty, comes a week after a contentious virtual hearing on the defense motion to toss the case out.

Hutchins was killed and Rust director Joel Souza was injured on October 21, 2021 after the Colt .45 Baldwin was pointing at the cinematographer fired off a live round during a rehearsal at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Sante Fe. The multi-Emmy winner insists he never pulled the trigger on the gun. A claim the FBI and independent analysis have adamantly disagreed with. On April 15, Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was sentenced to 18 months in a Land of Enchantment state prison after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on March 6. Blamed for the live round getting on the Rust set, the 27-year-old daughter of legendary movie gunman Thell Reed is appealing her sentence.

Of course, as Baldwin’s NYC legal team has made obvious since the on-set tragedy occurred over two and a half years ago, their now failed effort to get the matter dismissed is but one of many attempts for their client Just this week, Special Prosecutors Kari Morrisey and Erlinda Johnson replied to motions to dismiss for failure to allege a criminal offense and for destruction of evidence.

Motions that the combative prosecutors rejected in the strongest terms.

“To further illustrate the fallacy in the defendant’s claim that the revolver had been altered or damaged prior to October 21, 2021, Messrs. Luke and Michael Haag conducted specific testing on the firing pin impression on the primer on the cartridge of the fired bullet that killed Ms. Hutchins,” they said in a May 21 filing (read it here) asking for the defense motion itself to thrown in the judicial trash. “Based on their testing, the hammer had to have been in the full cock position at the time the gun was fired, killing Halyna Hutchins.”

Recharged with involuntary manslaughter in late January and having entered a not guilty plea not long afterward, Baldwin is fighting about half a dozen civil cases in California and New Mexico courts related to Rust and the deadly shooting on the troubled set of the indie Western.

Not that Rust itself is on the shelf.

Resurrected in early 2023 and finished by filming in Montana, the now completed Rust has still yet to find a buyer.

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