“New facts have come to light requiring further investigation and forensic analysis,” prosecutors said in a news release on Thursday.
SANTA FE, N.M. — Prosecutors plan to drop manslaughter charges. Alec Baldwin In 2021, a cinematographer was killed on the set of a western movie. rust,” alluding to new revelations in the investigation, while warning that Baldwin has not been acquitted.
Follow-up investigations continue, according to special counsel Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis, who said the manslaughter charge against the film’s weapons director Hannah Gutierrez Reid remains unchanged. An online status hearing was scheduled for both defendants.
“New facts have emerged that require further investigation and forensic analysis,” prosecutors said in a news release Thursday, but did not elaborate on those facts. It does not excuse criminal liability and may result in prosecution.Our follow-up investigation remains active and ongoing.”
Baldwin’s attorney was the first to announce that prosecutors were changing course. It’s a sharp turnaround for a Hollywood celebrity who just a few months ago was facing the possibility of months in prison.
Defense attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro said in a statement: “We are satisfied with the decision to dismiss the lawsuit against Alec Baldwin and encourage a proper inquiry into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident. doing.
Baldwin pointed a pistol at cinematographer Halina Hutchins during rehearsals, and when it happened, he killed her and injured director Joel Souza.
Baldwin states that the gun accidentally fired and had not pulled the trigger. However, an FBI forensic report found that the weapon may not have been fired unless the trigger was pulled.
David Halls, safety coordinator and assistant director at Rust in March Did not contest conviction for dangerous handling of firearms And with a suspended sentence of 6 months. He agreed to cooperate with further investigations into the fatal shooting.
When the manslaughter charges were announced in January, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said the case was equally justified under the law and that Hutchins’ death was justified, regardless of the fame or wealth of those involved. said he was accountable for She said the Ukrainian-born cinematographer’s death was tragic and preventable.
A new legal team took over the prosecution of Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed in late March after the original special counsel appointed in the case resigned.
The dismissal of the charges against Baldwin, also a co-producer of “Rust,” abruptly changes the tone of the investigation, said John Day, a Santa Fe-based criminal defense attorney who was not involved in the case.
“People left with bags give the impression that they are the lowest people in that chain,” Day said. is different.”
Baldwin was at the Yellowstone Film Ranch on the set of the rebooted “Rust” production when word of his dismissal arrived. A representative from Rust Movie Productions said it was gearing up to shoot at a new location in Montana on Thursday, marking him 18 months since filming stopped.
Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys said they fully expected her to be exonerated in the judicial process.
Attorneys Jason Bowles and Todd Brion said in a statement: “The truth about what happened will come to light and answer questions we have long sought to answer.
Lawsuits against Baldwin had already dwindled. A weapons charge that could have meant a much longer sentence was dismissed.
The A-list actor’s 40-year career includes starring roles in the early blockbuster “The Hunt for Red October” and the sitcom “30 Rock,” as well as iconic appearances in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” and film adaptations. Includes: “Glengarry Glen Ross” by David Mamet. In recent years, he is known for his impressions of former President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live.”
The 65-year-old has barely worked since the shooting and has hardly gone into hiding. make a video for instagramposts podcast interviews and photos of his wife and seven children.
Plans to resume filming were outlined last year by cinematographer widower Matthew Hutchins in a wrongful death lawsuit settlement that would make him executive producer. He said he would return to direct “Rust” for the sake of him.
Despite the settlement, lawyers for the Hutchins family said they welcomed criminal charges against Baldwin when they were filed.
After a scathing safety review by New Mexico regulators detailing ignored complaints and misfires before Hutchins died in October 2021, the production company agreed to pay a $100,000 fine.
Baldwin has not traveled to New Mexico to appear in court, which is not required under state law. He was scheduled for an evidence hearing next month to decide whether to proceed to trial.
https://www.wtol.com/article/news/nation-world/alec-baldwin-charges-rust-film-shooting-to-be-dropped/507-f49e442a-165b-40ed-afd1-efd275be9810 Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ set shooting charges dropped