Actor Alec Baldwin attends the 2019 PEN America Literary Gala at the American Museum of Natural History on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in New York. InternationalIndiaAfricaMary ManleyThe American actor was first charged with involuntary manslaughter after a gun he used during the 2021 filming of the movie ‘Rust’ went off and killed the film’s 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, and injured the director, Joel Souza. Criminal charges filed against Emmy-award winning actor Alec Baldwin, 65, were dropped on Thursday, the celebrity’s legal representation has announced. Baldwin had been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter related to the 2021 shooting on the set of the Rust film.
"We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and we encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident," Luke Nikas, Baldwin's lawyer told a British news source in a statement.
The announcement comes about two-and-a-half months after New Mexico prosecutors first filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the actor.Baldwin denied pulling the trigger, however, an FBI report concluded that the prop gun would not have fired otherwise. According to reports, prosecutors had recently learned the gun had been modified with a new trigger, which would have made an accident more likely.”Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set,” said Nikas. “He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds.”Charges against the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed have yet to be dropped, her lawyers said. The 25-year-old is facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter for Hutchins’ death. A lawyer for Gutierrez-Reed said they “fully expect at the end of this process that [Gutierrez-Reed] will also be exonerated.”
"The new special prosecutor team has taken a very diligent and thorough approach to the entire investigation, which we welcome and have always welcomed," Jason Bowles and Todd Bullion, who are representing Gutierrez-Reed, said in a statement.
Baldwin was reportedly seen on set on Thursday as the film resumed production at Yellowstone Ranch in Montana. Sources say the film needs 20 more days of filming before wrapping, and the scene in which Hutchins was fatally shot has been rewritten. Melina Spadone, a lawyer for Rust Movie Productions, said that the use of working weapons and any form of ammunition will be barred: “Live ammunition is – and always was – prohibited on set.”The latest development comes months after a firearms enhancement charge was dropped against Baldwin. The previous charge carried a five-year prison sentence whereas he faced just up to 18 months had he been convicted of involuntary manslaughter.