Alex Spiro of Quinn Emanuel spoke for the actor at the court’s status update meeting, which was broadcast by KOAT. He started by saying that the New Mexico government had destroyed the gun.
“I think I should tell the court that the firearm in this case, that’s a great subject of it, was destroyed by the state,” he shared. “So it’s clear that’s a problem. We’ll have to look at that gun, or at least what’s left of it.”
Heather Brewer, a spokesperson for the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney, tells PEOPLE in a statement that Spiro’s claim is not true “The state did not destroy the gun that Alec Baldwin used to shoot and kill Halyna Hutchins. The gun is a piece of evidence that the defence can look at.”
The statement continues, “At today’s status hearing, the defence made an unexpected statement that the state had destroyed the gun. This may be a reference to a line in the FBI’s July 2022 firearms testing report that said internal parts of the gun were damaged during the FBI’s functionality testing. But the gun is still around and can be used as proof.”
Scheduling questions were brought up next, and Spiro said that Baldwin, who was not there at the time, wants “his day in court.”
In New Mexico’s Santa Fe County First District Court, the actor pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges last month. According to court documents that PEOPLE got at the time, he gave up his right to show up in court for a hearing that had been set for Feb. 24.
So, judge Mary Marlow Sommer cancelled the hearing. Baldwin was supposed to go to court for the first time since he and former Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were charged on January 31, according to Deadline.
In addition to criminal charges, Hutchins’ parents and sister are suing Baldwin in civil court over her death. Baldwin and the people who made the movie are also being sued by three crew members for negligence and causing them emotional distress on purpose.
Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, another lawyer for Baldwin, said in a statement to PEOPLE on January 19 that the actor’s criminal charges “distort Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and are a terrible miscarriage of justice.”
Nikas added, “Mr Baldwin had no reason to think there was a real bullet in the gun or anywhere else on the set.” “He trusted the people he worked with, who told him the gun didn’t have any live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”
Rust is set to resume production in the spring.