SANTA FE, N.M. (NEWSnet/AP) — Defense attorneys for Alec Baldwin are seeking dismissal of an involuntary manslaughter trial in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Baldwin’s lawyers argue the charge that the firearm in the shooting was damaged by FBI forensic testing before it could be examined for possible modifications that might exonerate the actor.

New Mexico Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer is scheduled to hear arguments Monday. Baldwin’s trial is scheduled to begin in July.

Baldwin’s attorneys contend authorities destroyed the firearm by striking it with a mallet as part of a forensic analysis.

During rehearsal for “Rust” on Oct. 21, 2021, Baldwin was pointing the gun at Hutchins  when it fired, killing her and wounding director Joel Souza, who survived. Baldwin says he pulled the gun’s hammer, but did not pull the trigger.

Prosecutors plan to present evidence at trial  they say shows the firearm “could not have fired absent a pull of the trigger” and was working properly prior to the shooting.

Defense attorneys are highlighting expert analysis that outlines uncertainty about the origin of tool marks on the gun’s firing mechanism.

Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.

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