Alec Baldwin’s lawyer says ‘Rust’ shooting charges are being dropped
(Bloomberg) -- Prosecutors in New Mexico are dropping charges actor and producer Alec Baldwin faced as a result of a fatal shooting during the production of the film Rust.
In a statement late Thursday, prosecutors said new facts that were revealed demand further investigation and as a result the case can’t proceed under current time constraints.
“This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled,” the prosecutors said. “Our follow-up investigation will remain active and on-going.”
Baldwin had pleaded not guilty in February to involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins, the director of photography on the film. She died after being shot on the film’s set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2021.
“We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident,” Baldwin’s attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro said in a joint statement earlier Thursday.
Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the set’s armorer, was also charged with involuntary manslaughter. Charges against her remain unchanged, prosecutors said.
Assistant Director David Hall pleaded no contest in March to a misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon and was sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation.
The shooting occurred when Baldwin was practicing a scene in the film, drawing and pointing the weapon while sitting in a church. He drew the revolver from his holster, pointed it at Hutchins and fired, according to a statement of probable cause filed by the district attorney’s office.
The bullet struck Hutchins and exited her back, then struck and wounded Joel Souza, the director and writer, according to the original charges filed against Baldwin.
Baldwin has said in media interviews that he never fired the gun and that it just went off.
Production on the film has resumed in Montana, according to a representative from the movie’s production team.