Judge Rejects Alec Baldwin’s Move to Drop Case Due to Damaged Gun

A judge has rejected Alec Baldwin’s argument that his case should be thrown out because the FBI destroyed his Colt .45 revolver during testing.

The ruling keeps Baldwin on track to face a trial on July 9 in Santa Fe, N.M., on the charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Baldwin is accused of negligently pointing the revolver at Hutchins while working to set up a shot.

More from Variety

He has denied pulling the trigger, though the state intends to show that the gun could only have fired if the trigger was pulled.

Baldwin’s attorneys have argued that the gun may have malfunctioned due to pre-existing damage, but that the FBI testing prevented the defense from examining the gun in its original state, making it impossible to know for sure.

The defense asked for the case to be thrown out under a Supreme Court precedent that requires investigators to preserve potentially exculpatory evidence.

In her ruling on Friday, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer held that the defense had failed to show that the undamaged gun would be exculpatory. The judge also ruled that the defense theories about the gun were largely speculative, and not backed by substantial evidence.

As an alternate remedy, the defense had asked that prosecutors be barred from arguing that Baldwin pulled the trigger. Marlowe Sommer denied that as well, but found that both sides could fully explore how the gun was damaged during trial testimony.

Marlowe Sommer had denied two previous motions to dismiss the case. Baldwin’s attorneys have also filed a fourth motion for dismissal, arguing that special prosecutor Kari Morrissey withheld relevant material from the defense until the eve of trial, including a firearms report that the defense contends shows pre-existing damage to the gun.

Morrissey has countered that the failure to turn over the report was an “inadvertent oversight,” that the report was not actually helpful to the defense, and that the issue is a “red herring.”

“There is no end to the defendant’s absurdity,” she wrote.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.