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Alec Baldwin calls for speedy trial in Rust shooting manslaughter case

Alec Baldwin has called for a speedy trial after being charged with involuntary manslaughter again in connection with the 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film Rust, according to court documents.

“Mr Baldwin asserts his right to a speedy trial as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, Article 2, Section 14 of the New Mexico Constitution,” the actor’s lawyers wrote in the court filing. “Mr Baldwin is entitled to a fair and speedy disposition of the charges to minimise public vilification and suspicion and to avoid the hazards of proving his innocence that often arise after lengthy delays in prosecution.”

He has also demanded the New Mexico District Attorney “preserve all evidence” related to the case, and produce a written list “of all witnesses which the prosecutor intends to call at the trial”.

Baldwin was charged for the second time on Friday over the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust, in which Baldwin was both actor and producer.

He was originally charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter on 31 January 2023, but the charge was dismissed in April based on evidence that the hammer – the part of a revolver that gets pulled back to build momentum before firing – might have been modified, allowing it to be shot without the trigger being pulled.

Baldwin has previously denied pulling the trigger, saying he only pulled back the hammer and the gun fired.

Alec Baldwin has called for a speedy trial after being charged with involuntary manslaughter again (AP)
Alec Baldwin has called for a speedy trial after being charged with involuntary manslaughter again (AP)

But a new expert examination cast doubt on the actor’s account, leading the case to be brought before a grand jury again in New Mexico last week.

New forensic tests concluded he would have had to have pulled the trigger to fire the live round.

The analysis led by Lucien Haag of Forensic Science Services in Arizona stated that although Baldwin repeatedly denied pulling the trigger, “given the tests, findings, and observations reported here, the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver.”

The movie set’s weapons supervisor, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering in the case, with her trial scheduled to begin in February.

Rust assistant director and safety coordinator David Halls pleaded no contest to unsafe handling of a firearm last March and received a suspended sentence of six months of probation. He agreed to cooperate in the investigation of the shooting.

Baldwin could face 18 months to three years behind bars if he is found guilty.