Alec Baldwin’s Lawyers Argue Destruction of Gun Warrants Dismissal

Alec Baldwin’s Lawyers Argue Destruction of Gun Warrants Dismissal

Alec Baldwin‘s lawyers argued on Monday that his manslaughter case should be thrown out because investigators destroyed the key piece of evidence: his Colt .45 revolver.

Baldwin is due to face a trial in two weeks in Santa Fe, N.M., on the charge that he negligently shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021.

Baldwin has denied pulling the trigger, and the defense has suggested the gun had been modified so it could go off more easily. During testing in 2022, an FBI examiner struck the gun with a mallet, breaking the internal components such that the hammer would no longer stay in the fully cocked position.

Baldwin’s lawyer, John Bash, argued that the testing deprived the defense of a full opportunity to examine the gun in its original condition, noting that the examiner did not even disassemble the gun prior to the destructive testing or photograph its internal components.

“This is among the most egregious constellation of facts I’ve ever seen,” said Bash, a former U.S. Attorney during the Trump administration. “They knew it would be destroyed, and they did nothing to preserve the evidence for the defendant.”

Prosecutor Erlinda Johnson countered that it was not clear to detectives that the Colt .45 could have exculpatory value when they ordered the testing, and that the defense can still make its case using other available evidence.

At the end of the three-hour hearing, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer said she would issue her ruling on Friday. She did not say how she would rule, but told the parties to assume the case will go forward.

“Do not think that that means stop working for trial,” she said.

The trial is expected to take eight court days, with testimony beginning on July 10 and concluding on July 19. Kari Morrissey, the lead prosecutor, suggested that the trial could run an additional week, given the lengthy witness lists, but Marlowe Sommer insisted on limiting it to…

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The post “Alec Baldwin’s Lawyers Argue Destruction of Gun Warrants Dismissal” by Gmaddaus was published on 06/25/2024 by