Weapon that fired at Halyna Hutchins destroyed


March 9, 2023 | 8:30 p.m

Alec Baldwin came a step closer to trial in Thursday’s deadly “Rust” shooting after a judge in New Mexico set three key dates for the case — and his attorney dropped a bombshell on a key piece of evidence prosecutors were fast-tracking exposed.

First Circuit Judge Mary Marlow Sommer met virtually with attorneys for Baldwin and gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, both charged with involuntary manslaughter in the October 2021 death of camerawoman Halyna Hutchins.

Baldwin’s defense attorney made a damning claim during the virtual hearing that the state destroyed a key piece of evidence — the gun allegedly fired by Baldwin that shot Hutchins, according to local broadcaster KOB4.

“I don’t think the court is clear on this at this point, but I think I should let the court know — the firearm in this case was … destroyed by the state,” attorney Alex Spiro said. “So that’s obviously a problem, and we need to see that gun or what’s left of it.”

Judge Mary Marlow Sommer chaired the virtual hearing with attorneys for Alec Baldwin and Armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. United States Department of Justice

The gun had been turned over to the FBI as part of the investigation, and New Mexico prosecutors later denied the allegation in a statement to CNBC.

“The gun used by Alec Baldwin in the shooting that killed Halyna Hutchins was not destroyed by the state. The weapon is in evidence and available for the defense to review,” said Heather Brewer, spokeswoman for the Attorney’s Office for the First Judicial District of New Mexico.

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Brewer said the firearm sustained damage to internal components during FBI functional testing, but that it “still exists and can be used in evidence.”

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed after being hit by a live bullet in a prop cannon Baldwin was holding. Getty Images for SAGindie

Baldwin has denied pulling the trigger when the gun went off, sending a fatal bullet through Hutchins.

After consulting with Baldwin and Reed’s separate counsel, Sommer scheduled a March 27 hearing for the defense’s disqualification motion.

She also said Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies must tell the court which witness she will testify during the preliminary hearing through May 17.

Despite firing the gun, Alec Baldwin has repeatedly insisted he is not responsible for the tragedy that followed Instagram

The preliminary hearing, expected to last about two weeks, was scheduled for May 3 and could last until May 17.

Baldwin, 64, didn’t attend the hearing after the judge said he didn’t need to.

The brief meeting was primarily for scheduling purposes, despite the defense’s bombastic claim.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the 24-year-old gunsmith on the “Rust” set, also pleaded not guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charges. Voices of the West/Facebook

The embattled actor pleaded not guilty on February 23.

If convicted, he faces up to 18 months in prison.

The actor and Gutierrez-Reed originally faced up to five years, but the maximum sentence was reduced to a year and a half after prosecutor Carmack-Altwies dropped the gun enhancement charges against the couple.

The preliminary hearing in May will function as a “mini-trial” as witnesses will be called to the witness stand.

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The process won’t officially begin until jury selection begins sometime this summer.

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