Judge declines to dismiss Alec Baldwin's involuntary manslaughter in fatal 'Rust' shooting

An involuntary manslaughter charge against Alec Baldwin will not be dropped in the 2021 fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western film "Rust."

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer sided with New Mexico special prosecutors Friday and denied Baldwin's lawyers' motion to dismiss the grand jury indictment from January.

The judgment comes a week after Sommer heard arguments from Baldwin's attorney, Alex Spiro, and special prosecutor Kari Morrissey during a May 17 hearing.

In March, Baldwin's legal team filed the motion to dismiss the indictment, in which they accused state prosecutors of "unfairly stacking the deck" against the "30 Rock" actor and engaging in "an abuse of the system, and an abuse of an innocent person whose rights have been trampled to the extreme."

"The grand jury did not receive the favorable or exculpatory testimony and documents that the state had an obligation to present," the motion read. "Nor was the grand jury told it had a right to review and the obligation to request this information."

In late January, Baldwin pleaded not guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charge. The case was scheduled to go to trial beginning July 10.

In March, a jury found "Rust" armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Hutchins, a 42-year-old cinematographer. Gutierrez-Reed was later sentenced to 18 months in prison – the maximum the charge carried – with her lawyers vowing to appeal the case.

What prosecutors claimed: Alec Baldwin exhibited 'bullyish behavior' on 'Rust' set, changed his story

New Mexico prosecutors claimed Baldwin showed 'bullyish behavior' on 'Rust' set

The special prosecutors in Baldwin's case filed a response to Baldwin's motion to dismiss last month. In the 316-page document, state prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis claimed Baldwin exhibited "bullyish behavior on set" and changed his story to cast blame on others.

In their 316-page filing, prosecutors painted Baldwin as a demanding actor and producer of the project who flouted safety precautions, did not heed directions from his director and changed his story about what happened during the shooting.

"Every time Mr. Baldwin spoke, a different version of events emerged from his mouth and his later statements contradicted his previous statements," prosecutors wrote.

What happened to Hannah Gutierrez-Reed: How the "Rust" armorer's trial concluded

They also said Baldwin's defense team is working "to ensure that the case is not heard on its merits, and if it is heard on its merits, to discredit the prosecution, investigation, and witnesses in the media so that a conviction becomes unlikely for reasons that have nothing to do with Mr. Baldwin's criminal culpability."

Morrissey and Lewis claimed "Mr. Baldwin was in charge" as the lead actor and producer on the project, and "in addition to rushing the cast and crew, Mr. Baldwin was frequently screaming and cursing at himself, at crew members or at no one and not for any particular reason."

They wrote, "To watch Mr. Baldwin's conduct on the set of Rust is to witness a man who has absolutely no control of his own emotions and absolutely no concern for how his conduct effects those around him. Witnesses have testified that it was this exact conduct that contributed to safety compromises on set."

A combination of 24-year-old armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed's "negligence and inexperience" and Baldwin's "complete lack of concern for the safety of those around him" on set contributed to the death of 42-year-old Hutchins, according to prosecutors.

Baldwin was pointing a .45 caliber single-action army revolver at Hutchins during rehearsals on the movie set near Santa Fe, New Mexico on Oct. 21, 2021, when the gun went off, killing Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. Baldwin maintained that he never pulled the trigger.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Alec Baldwin's criminal charge in 'Rust' shooting will remain: Judge