Judge Issues Pivotal Ruling In Baldwin Case

We have an important update from the ongoing legal saga involving Hollywood star Alec Baldwin. On Monday, Baldwin received some favorable news from Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer as his trial for involuntary manslaughter gets underway in New Mexico. This trial stems from the tragic 2021 shooting on the set of his movie “Rust,” which resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The judge granted a significant request from Baldwin’s legal team, barring prosecutors from introducing testimony that Baldwin’s role as a producer allowed him to act recklessly and ignore gun safety protocols.

“I’m having real difficulty with the state’s position that they want to show that as a producer he didn’t follow guidelines and therefore, as an actor, Mr. Baldwin did all these things wrong,” Judge Sommer stated. She added that the probative value of such testimony would not substantially outweigh the unfair prejudice and confusion it could cause jurors.

This ruling is a major setback for prosecutors who have argued that Baldwin, as both a producer and the most experienced star on set, was responsible for any reckless behavior. Special prosecutor Erlinda Johnson contended that Baldwin’s actions as a producer created a risky environment, ultimately leading to the tragic incident. Johnson also argued that Baldwin’s decision to point the gun at Hutchins was “reckless and wanton.”

However, Judge Sommer’s ruling will prevent prosecutors from presenting potentially damaging videos of Baldwin, which reportedly show him yelling at staffers and issuing orders. Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, successfully argued that Baldwin’s role as a producer was not relevant to the shooting itself, and the judge agreed that such evidence could confuse the jury.

Despite this setback, special prosecutor Kari Morrissey downplayed the ruling’s significance, stating that she was not “particularly concerned.” Baldwin’s trial is set to begin with jury selection on Tuesday in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Earlier this year, Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed was convicted of the same charge Baldwin is facing. She is currently serving an 18-month sentence after unknowingly loading the live round into the revolver. Baldwin, who has pleaded not guilty, maintains that he did not pull the trigger and was unaware that the firearm contained live rounds.

The trial is expected to attract significant attention given Baldwin’s high profile and the tragic nature of the incident. Baldwin, now 66, has been a somewhat controversial figure in Hollywood for decades. Many feel that he should be held accountable for the fatal shooting on the set of “Rust.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here