Will Baldwin walk free? Judge’s impending decision could decide

First Judicial District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer is set to issue a written decision by Friday on Alec Baldwin’s final motion to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charge stemming from the fatal on-set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on October 21, 2021.

Last Friday, Judge Sommer rejected several motions from Baldwin’s defense team, including requests to exclude state witnesses, to dismiss the case for failing to state a criminal offense, and to grant use immunity for Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. The hearing resumed on Monday after technical issues delayed witness testimony.

The remaining motion concerns the defense’s claim of evidence destruction, specifically the gun Baldwin used during the incident. Defense attorney John Bash criticized the prosecutors’ actions, calling them “some of the most egregious conduct” he had ever encountered. He argued that the defense was denied the opportunity to examine the gun’s internal components or even review photographs of it.

“The idea of criminal prosecution is in a sense that the cards are stacked against the state, but now they’re stacked against the defense. They got to review the gun, we never will,” Bash stated, emphasizing the gun’s potential exculpatory value, which could support Baldwin’s claim that he did not pull the trigger. Bash contended that the state was aware of this potential value but did not inform the defense about the planned destruction of the evidence.

The defense also accused the prosecution of acting in “bad faith.” Bash revealed that the defense had only recently learned of an exculpatory report from firearms expert Lucien Haag. In his report, Haag mentioned diagonal toolmarks on the sear of the weapon, which might not have resulted from Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) testing. Haag’s testimony, which began on Friday and concluded on Monday, suggested a change in his opinion about the toolmarks after gaining more insight into the FBI’s accidental discharge test.

If the case is not dismissed, Bash requested the court to suppress all evidence related to Baldwin pulling the trigger or, alternatively, to suppress the examination and testing of the gun.

Special Prosecutor Erlinda Johnson countered the defense’s arguments, asserting that they failed to prove the gun’s “perceived exculpatory value” was evident to law enforcement, a necessary condition for dismissal.

“This gun appeared perfectly fine,” Johnson argued. “There seemed to be nothing wrong with it.”

She noted that law enforcement had not received any request from the defense to review the gun. Johnson added that Baldwin’s team still had other avenues to pursue their case, such as questioning the officers who seized the gun, the FBI official who tested it, or Haag. She acknowledged the failure to send Haag’s supplemental report as an “oversight” but denied it was exculpatory.

“In that report, he did not say there were modifications to this gun. He said there were diagonal toolmarks of an unknown origin. He doesn’t say the FBI testing doesn’t create these,” Johnson explained. “That does not equate to bad faith at all whatsoever. That’s a red herring that the defense is bringing before this court.”

Before the court recessed on Friday, Haag testified that after reviewing various reports, footage, and other evidence, the gun seemed to function “as intended and designed by the manufacturer.” FBI forensic examiner Bryce Ziegler also testified, stating that prior to the accidental discharge test using a rawhide mallet, he performed several other functionality tests and found “no apparent damage or modifications that would’ve rendered this firearm unsafe.”

Jury selection for Baldwin’s trial is scheduled to begin on July 9, with the trial itself starting on July 10. If convicted, Baldwin faces up to 18 months in prison.


4 thoughts on “Will Baldwin walk free? Judge’s impending decision could decide”

  1. Baldwin says he did not pull the trigger… Well who did? She got shot and died and he had the gun in his hand!

  2. Here is a bit of firearms information; relevant to the anti-gunners that are ignorant about firearms safety and use.
    -modern pistols are ALL designed to ONLY discharge when the trigger is pulled.
    -ONLY point a firearm at that which you are willing to DESTROY.
    -Always verify the state and condition of any firearm you touch.
    -CAREFULLY NOTE, none of the above have an “unless you’re an actor/actress” caveat

    Firearms are tools, and hollywood consistently teaches, by demonstration, how NOT to handle them.
    Hold Baldwin accountable, hold hollywood accountable.

  3. I pray he is held accountable and spends time behind bars!! He’s using that girl as a scapegoat to take his fall. 3 people were at fault and ALL 3 should be held accountable! That assistant director took a plea deal right away which tells me he knows more than he shared in the court room.

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