All criminal charges against actor Alec Baldwin relating to the Rust shooting case will be dropped, according to a new report by Deadline.
On October 21, 2021, a loaded handgun held by Baldwin discharged on the New Mexico film set, killing 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
After an extensive investigation into the incident, Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were each charged with two counts of manslaughter in January.
Baldwin, an acclaimed film and TV actor who was also a producer on the film, was accused of “many instances of extremely reckless acts” by the Santa Fe’s District Attorney’s Office, and accused the actor of being on his phone during a training session on how to operate the prop gun, per BBC.
“This reckless deviation from known standards and practice and protocol directly caused the fatal shooting,” special investigator Robert Shilling said. “Baldwin knew the first rule of gun safety is never point a gun at someone you don’t intend on shooting.”
Baldwin pled not guilty, and his lawyers vowed to fight the charges in court. Baldwin has maintained his innocence in the tragic shooting, denying he pulled the trigger.
“Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property,” Baldwin said. “Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”
Now, in a major update to the case, all criminal charges will reportedly be dropped.
The news comes from Deadline, which says that special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis will soon be filing paperwork to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter claims against Baldwin “without prejudice.”
“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,” Baldwin’s attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro said, per Deadline.
However, the report says that charges could be brought up against Baldwin in the future as investigation continues. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed still reportedly has charges against her.
The timing comes just as Rust was scheduled to continue filming.
Hutchins’ family filed a wrongful death suit last February, which named several on-set defendants including Baldwin. In October, it was announced the family had settled the suit.
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