Alec Baldwin’s Attorneys Claim Prosecutor Hid Proof Gun Was Damaged

Alec Baldwin’s lawyers have filed a fourth motion to throw out his manslaughter indictment, alleging that the prosecutor withheld exculpatory evidence showing that his Colt .45 revolver was damaged at the time of a fatal accident.

Baldwin’s defense accuses prosecutor Kari Morrissey of improperly withholding an expert’s report showing “unexplained toolmarks” on the gun’s sear — the portion of the trigger that holds the hammer in place.

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Baldwin is accused of pointing the gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and firing while setting up for a scene in October 2021. He has maintained that he did not pull the trigger, and his defense team has argued that the gun was susceptible to malfunctioning.

Baldwin is due to face an involuntary manslaughter trial in Santa Fe, N.M. in less than three weeks. The armorer who mistakenly loaded a live bullet into the gun, rather than an inert dummy round, is already serving an 18-month sentence.

The FBI broke off the sear during testing by hitting the hammer with a mallet, in an effort to show that the gun would not fire even if jolted violently. Subsequently, the prosecution hired an expert, Lucien Haag, who reassembled the gun and concluded that it could only have fired due to a pull of the trigger.

Haag’s report, supporting the prosecution’s case, was completed in August 2023 turned over to the defense. But Haag also produced two supplemental reports later that month that were not disclosed. The defense learned of those reports upon interviewing Haag and his son, Michael, in preparation for trial in April and May 2024, and asked the prosecutor to turn them over.

The third report references the “unexplained toolmarks,” and states that they do not appear to be original manufacturing marks, nor is it likely that they were the result of the FBI testing.

The defense contends that “contradicts” the state’s theory that the gun was in proper working order at the time of the shooting, and that Morrissey withheld that information for nearly nine months.

Baldwin’s lawyers further allege that Morrissey withheld voluminous additional material — some of which they say is favorable to the defense — until nearly the eve of the trial. The motion accuses the prosecution of a “flagrant disregard” of the obligation to turn over relevant evidence to the defense, and of playing “hide the ball” in order to “win at all costs.”

“Regardless of whether the State’s discovery violations have been unintentional (which, under the circumstances, is hard to believe), the State’s singular focus on obtaining Baldwin’s conviction has caused the State to lose sight of its ethical obligations and forgo any efforts at transparency,” the motion states.

According to the defense motion, Morrissey acknowledged that she should have forwarded the Haag reports to the defense as soon as she received them last August.

“The failure to disclose the 8/31 supplemental report was mine,” Morrissey wrote. “The day it was received I intended to forward it but I see from my email that I did not.”

In the third report, Haag concludes that the unexplained toolmarks do not change his conclusion that the gun was working normally. Haag wrote that the marks “are unlikely to have had any bearing on the operation of the revolver at the time of the incident,” based on the results of the earlier testing by the FBI.

Baldwin’s lawyers are seeking to throw out the case for two other reasons — first, because the FBI destroyed the gun, and second, because they claim the circumstances do not meet the legal standard for involuntary manslaughter in New Mexico.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer is set to hear arguments on those motions on Friday afternoon. The judge denied an earlier motion to dismiss the case for alleged improprieties in the grand jury process.

Update: In testimony on Friday afternoon, Haag reversed his position and said he believes the “unexplained” markings were caused by the FBI testing. Haag said he came to that conclusion after speaking earlier this week with the FBI examiner, who informed him that the gun was struck at an angle with a mallet.

Baldwin’s attorney, Alex Spiro, told the judge the testimony was “troubling, to put it mildly.”

“It’s very rare that I’m put in a position where reports are hidden, witnesses change their answers in this kind of manner,” Spiro said. “And I hope the court will take this seriously. We’re certainly taking it seriously.”

The hearing, which was held on Google Meets and was originally set to conclude Friday, was continued to Monday afternoon due to technical difficulties.

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