Alec Baldwin Seeks Dismissal of Rust Case: Legal Expert Highlights Strongest Argument

A pivotal legal debate surrounds Alec Baldwin's court case.

by Nouman Rasool
Alec Baldwin Seeks Dismissal of Rust Case: Legal Expert Highlights Strongest Argument
© Alec Tabak-Pool/Getty Images

With the trial date for involuntary manslaughter charges against him fast approaching, Alec Baldwin's attorneys have now been more actively fighting to dismiss the case. That primary legal maneuver rides on a potentially strong contention centering on procedural errors in instructing the grand jury; former L.A.

Deputy District Attorney Steve doesn't expect to prevail. Baldwin was criminally charged in January for a fatal on-set shooting of Ukrainian filmmaker Halyna Hutchins during the movie Rust production in New Mexico in 2021.

The case against Baldwin, even in its somber nature, has a ray of hope from a claim made in their March 14 motion.According to Baker, "The strongest argument is that the state did not accurately present instructions to the grand jury."

Grand Jury Instructions Disputed

This argument hinges on claims made by Baldwin's legal team that special prosecutor Kari T.

Morrissey provided the grand jury with "prejudicial" instructions. Specifically, the motion alleges Morrissey required the grand jury to find probable cause based on several elements, including Baldwin's failure to verify whether the firearm contained live rounds and his willful disregard for the safety of others, which directly led to Hutchins' death.

These claims were detailed with added emphasis on certain terms, which Baldwin's attorneys argue, were not justifiably included. In response, prosecutors Morrissey and Jason J. Lewis, in an April 5 document, labeled the defense’s claims as "patently false." They argued that their instructions were completely aligned with standard jury guidelines, merely incorporating necessary language based on the evidence presented.

The upcoming proceedings will provide Baldwin's defense a chance to counter the prosecution's arguments, following which Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer may decide on the motion or potentially schedule further hearings to deliberate the points raised by both parties.

Baker notes, "It’s crucial for the motion to dismiss to allow thorough debate from the attorneys." Baker also remarked on the broader implications of the defense’s strategy, suggesting that even if unsuccessful in dismissing the case, the process itself could be viewed as a minor victory for Baldwin.

His legal team's extensive resources stark contrast with the smaller prosecutorial team, which has recently been further taxed after prosecuting Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison for her role in the incident.

Alec Baldwin