Prosecutors Defend Case Against Alec Baldwin in ‘Rust’ Shooting

Prosecutors in New Mexico defended their handling of the involuntary manslaughter case against Alec Baldwin on Friday, filing court papers in which they accused the actor of negligently failing to make sure the gun he was handed before the fatal “Rust” shooting was not loaded with live ammunition.

Mr. Baldwin’s lawyers had filed a motion last month seeking to get the charge dismissed, calling the prosecution of the actor an “abuse of the system” and accusing prosecutors of having failed to give the grand jury evidence that could have helped his case.

Mr. Baldwin was practicing drawing a gun he had been told was safe when it fired a live bullet in October 2021, killing the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. The armorer responsible for weapons on the set, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter last month for loading a live round into the gun on a set where there was not supposed to be any live ammunition. She faces up to 18 months in prison.

In the court filing on Friday, prosecutors laid out some of their arguments for going ahead with the criminal case against Mr. Baldwin. They accused him of behaving on the film set with “absolutely no concern for how his conduct affects those around him,” and they defended their presentation to the grand jury, writing that they had read aloud the full letter that Mr. Baldwin’s lawyer had presented to them.

“It is the job of the special prosecutors to investigate the case and fairly and impartially prosecute the case, and we will continue to do so despite the defendant’s relentless attempts to discredit and intimidate the prosecution,” the prosecutors, Kari T. Morrissey and Jason J. Lewis, wrote.

A lawyer for Mr. Baldwin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Baldwin, 66, who has pleaded not guilty, has denied responsibility for Ms. Hutchins’s death from the beginning. He has asserted that he did not pull the trigger, that he had been told the gun did not contain live ammunition and that Ms. Hutchins had been directing him where to point the weapon when it went off.

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