Charges dropped against Alec Baldwin in fatal ‘Rust’ movie set shooting: lawyers – National

New Mexico prosecutors have decided to drop criminal charges against actor Alec Baldwin in the 2021 death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the western movie Rust, according to Baldwin’s attorney. said on Thursday.

The news came the same day that Baldwin and other cast members resumed filming the movie in Montana.

Attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro said in a statement: “We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the lawsuit against Alec Baldwin and encourage a proper inquiry into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident. increase.

Baldwin, 65, was charged with two counts of manslaughter in January in connection with Hutchins’ death and the injury of “Last” director Joel Souza, who was struck by the same bullet that passed through Hutchins. rice field.

Click to play video: 'Rusty Cinematography: Alec Baldwin Says Cinematographer's Death Will 'Never Be Behind Us' In New Statement'

Rusty cinematography: Alec Baldwin says cinematographer’s death ‘will never be behind us’ in new statement

Prosecutors have also charged blacksmith Hannah Gutierrez Reid with manslaughter, and will continue to pursue charges against her, according to a person familiar with the matter. Gutierrez-Reed maintains her innocence.

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Baldwin was accused of displaying a “reckless” disregard for safety in Hutchins’ death. He claimed innocence.

Baldwin was told in an interview that the gun was safe and that he never pulled the trigger.

The two special counsels handling the case in New Mexico’s First Judicial District had no comment, spokesperson Heather Brewer said.

New Mexico prosecutors have been plagued with legal errors since indicting Baldwin and Gutierrez Reid in January. resigned.

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Body camera footage from Baldwin ‘Rust’ set shows immediate aftermath

Prosecutors are expected to drop the charges against Baldwin in court documents as early as Thursday, according to sources familiar with discussions between Baldwin’s lawyers and the special counsel.

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New evidence indicated that the firearm Baldwin used had been modified, and prosecutors could no longer prove that he needed to pull the trigger to fire.

The two sides were discussing the charges ahead of a hearing on May 3, when a judge in New Mexico was set to decide whether Baldwin should go to trial.

The shooting occurred during a rehearsal on October 21, 2021, when a Colt .45 revolver Baldwin was pointing at the camera.

Investigators were unable to determine how the live round took place on set.

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‘Rusty’ movie set shoot: New Mexico sheriff confirms Baldwin’s gun fired live lead bullets

First assistant director Dave Halls was given a suspended sentence last month after pleading guilty to careless use of a lethal weapon. Prosecutors said he was responsible for the safety of the set.

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Gutierrez-Reed blames other factors for the shooting, including possible sabotage, Baldwin’s lack of training, and Halls and Baldwin’s failure to ask her for additional checks.

In a statement Thursday, her attorneys, Jason Bowles and Todd Brion, said they “fully expect Hannah to be acquitted as well at the end of this process.”

Baldwin settled a lawsuit with her cinematographer husband, Matt Hutchins, in October, appointing Hutchins as an executive producer on the film.

(Reporting by Andrew Hay, Joseph Ax and Tyler Clifford; additional reporting by Jasper Ward; editing by Cynthia Osterman and Josie Kao)

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