Alec Baldwin’s Involuntary Manslaughter Charges Dropped in Connection with Fatal Shooting on the Set of “Rust
Actor Alec Baldwin's criminal charges for involuntary manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western film Rust have been dropped. Baldwin's lawyers stated that they were pleased with the decision to dismiss the case and urged a proper investigation into the tragic incident. The charges were dropped one month after special prosecutor Andrea Reeb stepped down from the case. Baldwin's lawyers argued that her appointment was unconstitutional due to her status as a Republican lawmaker in the New Mexico House of Representatives. Newly appointed special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis are expected to dismiss Baldwin's charges without prejudice, meaning that he could be charged in the future as they continue their investigation, though this appears unlikely.
Hutchins, the film’s cinematographer, was fatally shot and killed in 2021 when a live round was accidentally fired from Baldwin's prop gun during a rehearsal on the set of Rust in New Mexico. Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter over the incident. Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who handed Baldwin the prop gun, was also charged with involuntary manslaughter, and her case is still pending.
Baldwin has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Hutchins' estate. As part of the settlement, Rust resumed filming with Hutchins' husband, Matthew Hutchins, joining the production as an executive producer. There are still several lawsuits pending against Baldwin related to the shooting, one of which is from Hutchins' family.
David Halls, the assistant director who handed Baldwin the prop gun, previously pleaded no contest to a single count of petty misdemeanor negligent use of a deadly weapon. He was sentenced on March 31 to six months' probation, a $500 fine, and community service.
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1. “Alec Baldwin lawyers say manslaughter charges to be dropped in ‘Rust' movie set shooting” CNBC, 20 Apr. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/04/20/alec-baldwin-lawyers-say-manslaughter-charges-to-be-dropped-in-rust-movie-set-shooting.html
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