Judge rules Alec Baldwin's criminal trial will go ahead

Alec Baldwin will face trial next month credit:Bang Showbiz
Alec Baldwin will face trial next month credit:Bang Showbiz

Alec Baldwin's criminal trial will go ahead next month, a judge has ruled.

The 66-year-old actor's involuntary manslaughter charge was upheld for the third time in five weeks by Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer on Friday (28.06.24), despite his lawyers seeking to have the case thrown out after arguing "due process" had been violated because the gun which fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of 'Rust' in October 2021 had been destroyed when government agents tested it, meaning the defense couldn't carry out their own testing process.

The judge heard testimony and arguments on the motion on 21 and 24 June before making her ruling.

She wrote: "The Court finds and concludes that Defendant fails to establish that the State acted in bad faith when destroying certain internal components of the firearm in the course of the accidental discharge testing.

"In other words, the evidence before the Court does not demonstrate that the State or its agents knew that the unaltered firearm possessed exculpatory value at the time of accidental discharge testing, and nonetheless destroyed it, thereby indicating that the evidence may have exonerated the Defendant."

But the judge noted prosecutors must "fully disclose the destructive nature of the firearm testing, the resulting loss, and its relevance and import to the jury."

She added: "The State must examine appropriate witnesses to achieve this disclosure. In addition, Defendant remains entitled to cross-examination of the State's witnesses, to further accomplish this remedy."

Alec was holding the gun when it discharged by has insisted he didn't pull the trigger and didn't know why it contained live ammunition, prompting prosecutors to order forensic testing on the weapon.

The 'Boss Baby' star's lawyers wrote in their motion: “Government agents knew that the firearm would not survive their clumsy ‘tests’ intact. They said so explicitly in emails.

“But at the insistence of prosecutors eager to prove a celebrity’s guilt, they nevertheless blundered ahead without preserving the original state of the firearm through photographs, video or other means; without informing Baldwin or his counsel they were conducting destructive testing; and without any realistic prospect that bludgeoning the gun would reveal whether Baldwin had pulled the trigger on the day of the accident.

"The destruction of potentially exculpatory evidence violates due process.”

But the prosecution insisted due process hadn't been violated and investigators had "carefully documented" the gun's condition before testing.