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New Mexico judge denies Alec Baldwin's motion to dismiss criminal case in 'Rust' shooting

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New Mexico judge denies Alec Baldwin's motion to dismiss criminal case in 'Rust' shooting

A New Mexico judge denied a motion to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter case against Alec Baldwin, clearing the way for the high-profile actor to stand trial for his alleged role in the deadly “Rust” movie shooting.

New Mexico First Judicial District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer’s decision late Friday was a setback to Baldwin and his legal team, who had argued that prosecutors were bent on winning a conviction of the 66-year-old actor-producer at all costs following the October 2021 accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the low-budget western movie set near Santa Fe.

Baldwin’s trial on the felony charge is expected to begin in July. If convicted, he would face a prison sentence of up to 18 months. He has pleaded not guilty.

In January, grand jurors in Santa Fe County indicted Baldwin on an involuntary manslaughter charge, determining there was sufficient evidence that he acted negligently by pointing a loaded gun at Hutchins without first checking the weapon.

After the indictment, Baldwin’s lawyers pored over transcripts of the grand jury proceedings to try to build a case that Special Prosecutor Kari T. Morrissey had at times shut down testimony that could have been beneficial to their client.

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“The state has sought to convict and imprison Baldwin for an accident caused by the mistakes of others,” Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas wrote in a motion to dismiss the indictment.

On Friday, Nikas and his law partner Alex Spiro said in an email: “We look forward to our day in court.”

In a hearing last week, Baldwin’s attorneys argued that Morrissey failed in her duty to provide testimony in a “fair and impartial manner.”

Marlowe Sommer on Friday wrote in her 19-page ruling that defense attorneys failed to provide evidence of “prosecutorial bad faith.”

To meet that definition, defense attorneys must show that the prosecutor deliberately misled the grand jury or engaged in “intentional misconduct,” the judge wrote, adding that was not the case in the Baldwin matter.

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“The court does not find that defendant has established prosecutorial bad faith,” Marlowe Sommer wrote.

At issue was whether grand jurors were fully informed that they could call witnesses from a list provided by Baldwin’s attorneys. The judge wrote that the special prosecutor read a letter from Baldwin’s side during the proceedings, and that jurors also were allowed to question witnesses.

“Although the State deferred certain questions, in many other instances, the grand jurors asked probative questions, and received complete answers from witnesses, without State interference,” Marlowe Sommer wrote.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer, center, talks with prosecutor Kari T. Morrissey, left, and Hannah Gutierrez’s defense attorney Jason Bowles during Gutierrez’s February 2024 trial in Santa Fe, N.M.

(Eddie Moore / Albuquerque Journal)

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On the afternoon of Oct. 21, 2021, Hutchins, Baldwin, Souza and about a dozen other crew members were gathered in a rustic church at Bonanza Creek Ranch, south of Santa Fe, to prepare for an upcoming scene. Assistant director David Halls, who was the on-set safety coordinator, handed the gun to Baldwin, declaring that it was “cold,” meaning there was no ammunition inside, according to numerous witnesses.

The actor was sitting in a pew, facing the door of the church. Hutchins and Baldwin had discussed a close-up camera angle of the gun’s muzzle — a view that Hutchins, the director of photography, wanted as a way to heighten the drama in advance of a gunfight scene. Baldwin has said Hutchins told him to slowly pull his Colt .45 revolver from his holster and point it at the camera.

He did, and that’s when the gun went off.

Hutchins died from her wounds. The film’s director, Joel Souza, was injured by the same bullet but has since recovered.

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Baldwin’s case has featured numerous twists and turns, including when the actor known for NBC’s “30 Rock” and parodying former President Trump in skits on “Saturday Night Live,” participated in an ABC News interview, broadcast in December 2021, less than six weeks after the tragedy. Baldwin described for news anchor George Stephanopoulos how he pointed the gun at Hutchins and cocked the hammer.

“I didn’t pull the trigger,” Baldwin said, blaming others for the tragedy.

Since then, investigators and FBI analysts have performed tests to demonstrate that Baldwin must have pulled the trigger.

However, during the FBI tests in 2022 at the agency’s lab in Quantico, Va., forensic analysts used a rawhide mallet to strike the gun so hard that components of the gun fractured. Baldwin’s attorney’s have cited the broken parts as evidence that the weapon was compromised before Baldwin handled it.

The first set of prosecutors had to step down after a string of missteps, including an attempt to charge Baldwin on a penalty enhancement that called for a mandatory five-year prison sentence. That penalty wasn’t in effect at the time of the tragedy. The initial prosecutors also made statements about holding Baldwin responsible for his actions, prompting criticism from defense attorneys that such commentary was prejudicial against the actor.

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Shortly after Morrissey and her law partner Jason J. Lewis joined the case last spring, they dropped the charges against Baldwin, saying they needed time to review evidence and address legal issues raised by Baldwin’s team.

Last week, Morrissey bristled at suggestions that it was problematic for her to seek an indictment after dropping the charges against Baldwin last year. She said it was Baldwin’s lead attorney, Luke Nikas, who asked for the charges to be dropped, and she agreed.

At the time, the prosecutors said they needed time to investigate whether the gun had been modified prior to its arrival on the film set, as Baldwin’s team has suggested.

Prosecutors have won two convictions for negligence leading to Hutchins’ death.

In March, a Santa Fe jury convicted armorer Hannah Gutierrez of involuntary manslaughter. Morrissey had argued that Gutierrez, whose job was handling the guns, was the most responsible for the tragedy. The jury deliberated only about two hours after hearing evidence during a two-week trial. Last month, Marlowe Sommer sentenced Gutierrez, 26, to the maximum sentence of 18 months in a New Mexico women’s prison.

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Last year, Halls pleaded no contest to negligent use of a deadly weapon and received a suspended six-month sentence.

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Jeezy and Jeannie Mai finalize divorce after custody battle over toddler turned ugly

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Jeezy and Jeannie Mai finalize divorce after custody battle over toddler turned ugly

Jeezy and Jeannie Mai’s marriage is officially over.

The “Put On” rapper and TV personality finalized their divorce Monday in Georgia’s Fulton County Superior Court, The Times has confirmed. After months of contention, Jeezy (real name Jay Wayne Jenkins) and Mai are now free to enjoy being single or to marry someone new.

They wed in March 2021 and share a 2-year-old daughter who has been at the center of their heated and months-long custody battle. Legal documents reviewed by The Times did not disclose the terms of Jeezy and Mai’s divorce, including a co-parenting plan. The former husband-and-wife duo also sealed other divorce documents, TMZ reported.

Representatives for Jeezy, 46, and Mai, 45, did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment on Thursday.

Jeezy, also known among his fans as the Snowman, filed for divorce from Mai in September 2023. Details about the ex-couple’s strained relationship came to light months after the September petition.

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In December, Jeezy and Mai began trading scathing allegations of infidelity and attempts at controlling parenting time in separate motions concerning their daughter’s care. At the time, both stars were seeking permanent physical custody of their child.

The legal back-and-forth escalated in the months that followed as Mai accused Jeezy of improperly storing his firearms, and Jeezy accused the mother of his child of limiting his parenting time and taking their daughter on trips outside of Georgia without his knowledge.

The custody battle took a dark turn in late April when Mai unleashed a slew of allegations of neglect, domestic violence and verbal abuse against her then-husband in a 117-page response. Her court documents also raised new claims about Jeezy’s alleged lack of safekeeping for his guns and ammunition.

“The allegations are not only false, but also deeply disturbing, especially coming from someone I loved,” Jeezy said in an April statement shared with The Times. “This malicious attempt to tarnish my character and disrupt my family is ridiculous.”

The statement added: “It’s disheartening to witness the manipulation and deceit at play and at this time my main concern is being an active father to our daughter as I continue to fight for court mandated joint custody. Rest assured, the truth will prevail through the proper legal channels.”

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Amid the final step of their divorce, both Jeezy and Mai have provided fans life updates on social media. On her page, Mai touted the quality time she was sharing with her daughter — including enjoying Filipino dishes during a trip to Palawan and riding scooters at a local farmers market.

Jeezy, on the other hand, has been enjoying views under the Tuscan sun. On Thursday, he shared a video montage of his solo trip to Italy, which included stops in Milan, Florence and Lake Como.

“Sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself,” he captioned the video.

Times researcher Cary Schneider contributed to this report.

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Chandu Champion first reviews: Kartik Aaryan's film touches hearts with its gripping storyline | Hindi Movie News – Times of India

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Chandu Champion first reviews: Kartik Aaryan's film touches hearts with its gripping storyline | Hindi Movie News – Times of India
Chandu Champion’, the sports drama that marks Kartik Aaryan‘s debut collaboration with Kabir Khan, is scheduled to release in theaters on June 14. The film is inspired by the life of Murlikant Petkar, India’s first Paralympics gold medallist.
The first review for the film has come from the people who watched the film at the special screening hosted by Kabir Khan.Those who have watched it have shared their verdict on social media. While Sumit Kadel called ‘Chandu Champion’ one of the finest films of 2024, Siddharth Kannan wrote, “It would be an understatement to call this @TheAaryanKartik ‘s best performance. Just like #MurlikantPetkar ji, he has risen over all odds and has made an indelible mark with his performance in the film.”
Sumit Kadel took to X and wrote, “#ChanduChampion is one of the finest films of 2024. It is a sports drama done right, telling the remarkable and legendary life of Murlikant Petkar. Director Kabir Khan narrates his story with great skill, research and most importantly honesty without going overboard. The movie explores every chapter of Murlikant Petkar’s life, which is full of heroism, valor, and courage. We see his journey from his village to joining the army, becoming a world-class boxer, struggling with his injuries, and finally achieving success at the Paralympics. His story is extremely inspiring, emotional, and powerful. #KartikAaryan delivers his best performance in this film. His body transformation is extraordinary, and he looks like a real athlete throughout. More than his physical transformation, Kartik’s emotional performance is what truly stands out. There are many scenes in the film where his acting will make you cry. He is sure to be a contender for the best actor award this year. #VijayRaaz lent strong support and the child who played Kartik’s Young version is brilliant. The first half of the film is excellent, while the second half is a bit slow and stretched at times. However, the last 20 minutes make up for these shortcomings. The major highlights of Chandu Champion are the boxing matches and the fantastic war scenes just before the interval. Overall Chandu Champion is a very honest film with a beautiful story, direction, screenplay, and many inspirational moments. Kudos to producer Sajid Nadiadwala for giving the film the scale and grandeur it deserves.”

On the other hand, Siddharth Kannan wrote, “#ChanduChampion… It would be an understatement to call this @TheAaryanKartik’s best performance. Just like #MurlikantPetkar ji, he has risen over all odds and has made an indelible mark with his performance in the film. #VijayRaaz, Nobody could have been a better mentor than you in the film for apna Murli. #KabirKhan packs a punch with yet another blockbuster. #Kartik, you have shut down all those who you would have once said, #HastaKaykoHai?”

Ramesh Bala tweeted, “#ChanduChampion Review : Kabir Khan is back in full form with this film. Emotions, actions, drama, relationships, motivation and unexpectedly killer performances. The film sticks to your mind. Kartik Aaryan deserves a standing ovation. Extremely watchable movie 🍿 full Paisa vasool.”

While seeing the movie, a few audience members who were invited to the private screening were also seen crying. Sharing the video of the same on Instagram, Kartik wrote, “First screening of Chandu Champion with the Man himself. An evening filled with honor, joy and tears with THE REAL CHAMPION. The Man who refused to surrender MR MURLIKANT PETKAR.”
The Kabir Khan film is based on the life and events of Petkar, the first Paralympian gold medallist, who bravely confronted every hurdle life threw at him. The titular role is essayed by Kartik Aaryan.

Kartik Aaryan’s Most Candid Interview On Chandu Champion: I Am Manifesting A Lot And That’s Why These Roles Are Coming My Way

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Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn's L.A. home broken into twice in four months

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Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn's L.A. home broken into twice in four months

Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn had two break-ins within a four-month span at their Los Angeles home, the “Death Becomes Her” star has revealed.

The couple discovered the first incident, which occurred in 2020, after coming home from dinner.

“We were gone maybe two hours and 20 minutes or something,” Hawn told Kelly Ripa on the “Let’s Talk Off Camera” podcast. The two turned on the TV and Hawn called it a night. Upon entering her bedroom, though, she came across a well-rummaged site.

“They had broken in from the balcony to our bedroom, our closets, and they completely knocked down my door, which was a safe door, so they’re very, very sophisticated,” Hawn said. “They got a lot of my goodies, if you know what I mean. So I’m thinking, ‘Oh, my God. Well, the chances are, I guess that’s it.’”

Hawn, 78, assumed that would be the first and only time, because “odds are that’s not gonna happen again.”

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Four months later, though, she was home alone with her dog when she heard a “big thump upstairs,” leaving her to wonder, “What the hell was that?”

“Was that a sonic boom?” she said. “Did somebody jump somewhere? I mean, and as it turned out, the next day, we discovered that they were trying to get in my bedroom while I was in the house.”

Now, Hawn has amped up security.

“I’m never without a guard,” she said.

Hawn and Russell have been together since 1983 but have not married. Their blended family consists of sons Oliver Hudson, Wyatt Russell, Boston Russell and daughter Kate Hudson.

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