Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty in ‘Rust’ film set gun death

Actor Alec Baldwin pleaded not guilty to the felony charge of manslaughter in the shooting of a cinematographer on the set of a Western film, and waived his first formal court appearance, in court documents filed Thursday.

Baldwin and the weapons supervisor were charged last month with felony manslaughter in the shooting death of cinematographer Halina Hutchins, who died shortly after being injured during a rehearsal at a ranch outside Santa Fe in October 2021.

Baldwin has agreed to refrain from hearing to have his rights explained. We have set release conditions that allow us to limit contact.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys are gearing up for a preliminary hearing, which could take place in the coming months, to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.

Other provisions of Baldwin’s pretrial release include a ban on drinking alcohol and the possession of weapons, including firearms.

“Defendants are only permitted to contact potential witnesses…in connection with completing the ‘Rust’ film and other related and unrelated business matters. We are not authorized to discuss the accident in question.Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer said in the signed order:

Manslaughter charges against “Rust” lead actor and co-producer Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reid carry a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine under New Mexico law.

Officials said Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun fired, killing her and injuring director Joel Souza.

Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, said the charges were “a gross miscarriage of justice” when they were announced. There was no reason,” he said.

Work on “Rust” was interrupted by Hutchins’ death. According to Rust Movie Productions, filming is set to resume this spring without the use of actual weapons and ammunition.

Hutchins’ widow, Matthew Hutchins, will be the film’s new Executive Producer, fulfilling the terms of a legal settlement of the wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin and other “Rust” producers.

An associated documentary detailing the completion of the film and the life of Hutchins is planned.

Gutierrez-Reed is scheduled to appear remotely at a court hearing on Friday, and her lawyers say Gutierrez-Reed will file a plea of ​​not guilty.

Prosecutors found assistant director David Halls, who oversaw safety on set, guilty of negligent use of a lethal weapon, explaining he may have mishandled the gun before handing it over to Baldwin. He said he had signed a contract acknowledging the

A judge is expected to consider approving the plea bargain in March. Halls waived his first court appearance.

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