A serious charge against Alec Baldwin in relation to the fatal Rust shooting in 2021 has been dropped.
People Magazine has reported the actor will no longer face the possibility of five years in prison as prosecutors have dropped a charge originally brought against the actor/producer.
Prosecutors initially sought to convict the star of involuntary manslaughter and firearms enhancement charges which would see him face a mandatory five years in prison if found guilty.
However, while the charge has been dropped against Baldwin and former Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, they both still face involuntary manslaughter charges which could see them face a sentence of 18 months in prison if convicted.
A spokesperson for the Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office said in a statement today that the prosecution’s priority is “securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.
“In order to avoid further litigious distractions by Mr Baldwin and his attorneys, the District Attorney and the special prosecutor have removed the firearm enhancement to the involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the Rust film set,” the spokesperson said.
Baldwin was formally charged with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins on a New Mexico movie set in October 2021.
Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies filed the charging documents naming Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who supervised weapons on the set of the Western, Rust.
In documents obtained by New Mexico’s KRQE News, the probable cause statement filed against Baldwin alleges, “On the day of the shooting alone, evidence shows that no less than a dozen acts, or omissions of recklessness, occurred in the short time prior to lunch and the time of the shooting, and this does not include the reckless handling of the firearm by Baldwin,” adding, “By act or omission or failure to act in his position as a producer directly contributed and/or failed to mitigate numerous reckless and dangerous actions during a very short time period.”
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed maintain their innocence and have vowed to fight the charges.
Luke Nikas, Baldwin’s lawyer told People Magazine in January the announcement of criminal charges against the Baby Boss actor “distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice.”
“Mr Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set,” Nikas added. “He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”
Hutchins died shortly after being wounded during rehearsals at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe on October 21, 2021. Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun went off, killing her and wounding the director, Joel Souza.
Hutchins’ death already has led to new safety precautions in the film industry.