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A judge will consider a motion to dismiss Alec Baldwin’s shooting case due to alleged damage to evidence during testing

Alec Baldwin (Via Josh Little/Shutterstock)

A judge in New Mexico will decide on Friday whether to dismiss the single charge against Alec Baldwin concerning the fatal shooting of a cinematographer. The defense argues that the FBI damaged the firearm during testing before Baldwin’s lawyers could inspect it, potentially affecting the case.

Baldwin’s legal team wants the judge to consider dropping the charges or, if the trial proceeds, to prevent the prosecution from presenting a firearms expert’s analysis using replacement parts. They claim investigators may have destroyed evidence crucial to Baldwin’s defense while testing whether the gun could discharge accidentally.

During a rehearsal on a film set in October 2021, Baldwin was holding the gun when it discharged, fatally injuring Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter, which could lead to a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.

Set of the show Rust (Via Will Gordon/Getty Images)

Initially, sheriff’s investigators sent the revolver to the FBI for standard testing. However, after hearing Baldwin’s statements in a TV interview, the FBI conducted tests to determine if the gun could discharge without the trigger being pulled, potentially damaging the firearm.

Despite knowing the potential importance of the evidence, the FBI proceeded with the tests, which ultimately caused damage to the gun’s firing and safety mechanisms.

Baldwin’s attorney John Bash argued during a virtual court session that the destruction of potentially exculpatory evidence was unjustifiable and warrants dismissal of the case.

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