Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty to refiled manslaughter charge


Actor Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to a refiled count of involuntary manslaughter in the 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western film “Rust” in New Mexico.

According to court documents filed Wednesday in Sante Fe County court, the 65-year-old Baldwin waived his right to an arraignment — originally scheduled for Thursday — and pleaded not guilty to the charge, which was brought earlier this month by New Mexico special prosecutors.

On Oct. 21, 2021, on a film set outside Santa Fe, the 42-year-old Hutchins was struck and killed by a live round when a prop gun being held by Baldwin discharged during a rehearsal. Joel Souza, the film’s director, was also wounded.

Baldwin has repeatedly denied that he pulled the gun’s trigger. However, a forensics report released by prosecutors last August determined it was likely the trigger had been pulled.

“Although Alec Baldwin repeatedly denies pulling the trigger, given the tests, findings and observations reported here, the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver,” firearms expert Lucian Haag Lucien Haag wrote in the report.  

Baldwin and the film’s armor, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, were both charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting in January 2023.

About four months later, special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis said the involuntary manslaughter charge against Baldwin would be dropped based on the revelation of “new facts” in the case that demanded more analysis.  

A grand jury then indicted Baldwin, who is a producer on the film, on a count of involuntary manslaughter on Jan. 19 of this year. According to the indictment, the charge was based on additional testimony from seven witnesses given to a New Mexico grand jury.

Baldwin is not allowed to consume alcohol and cannot leave the U.S. without written permission from the court, according to a conditional release order signed by the judge Wednesday. He is also only allowed to have contact with potential witnesses as it pertains to “business matters” to do with the “Rust” movie.

The initial involuntary manslaughter charges brought against Gutierrez-Reed were not dropped. Last June, prosecutors also brought an additional count of felony fourth-degree tampering with evidence against her. She is expected to go to trial next month. 

In a previously filed probable cause statement, prosecutors alleged that on the afternoon of the shooting, Gutierrez-Reed retrieved the gun from the prop truck and handed it to “Rust” assistant director David Halls without conducting a necessary safety check.

Prosecutors said Halls also did not request the safety check — which would involve Gutierrez-Reed showing Halls each dummy round in the gun — before he subsequently handed the weapon to Baldwin.

In March 2023, as part of a deal with prosecutors, David Halls pleaded guilty to unsafe handling of a firearm and was sentenced to six months’ probation.

Production on the film resumed in early 2023 and wrapped up in May of that year.

Alex Sundby contributed to this report.   



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top