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Judge rejects Alec Baldwin’s request to dismiss charge over Rust shooting

A judge has rejected a request by Alec Baldwin to dismiss his criminal charge relating to the fatal shooting on the set of Rust.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer upheld an indictment charging Baldwin with one count of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, in 2021.

The New Mexico judge rejected defence arguments that prosecutors flouted the rules of grand jury proceedings to divert attention away from exculpatory evidence and witnesses.

Prosecutors denied the accusations and said Baldwin made “shameless” attempts to escape culpability, highlighting contradictions in his statements to law enforcement, to workplace safety regulators, and in a television interview.

Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to the charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.

His lawyers said after Friday’s judgement: “We look forward to our day in court.”

The 66-year-old’s trial has been scheduled to start in July.

During a rehearsal on the set of the Western film, Baldwin pointed a gun at Hutchins when the revolver went off, killing her and injuring director Joel Souza.

The actor has maintained that he pulled back the gun’s hammer but not the trigger.

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