‘Rust’ prosecutors drop charges against Alec Baldwin, say they may refile charges

Source: Gage Skidmore / Wiki Commons

Alec Baldwin

UPDATE: Rust prosecutors have dropped involuntary manslaughter charges against Alec Baldwin but are continuing the investigation and warned they may refile charges.

Special prosecutors special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis issued the following statement n Thursday evening: ”Over the last few days and in preparation for the May 3, 2023, preliminary hearing, new facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis in the case against Alexander “Alec” Rae Baldwin, III.

”Consequently, we cannot proceed under the current time constraints and on the facts and evidence turned over by law enforcement in its existing form.

”We therefore will be dismissing the involuntary manslaughter charges against Mr. Baldwin to conduct further investigation. This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled. Our follow-up investigation will remain active and on-going.”

APRIL 20 REPORT: Involuntary manslaughter charges against Alec Baldwin in relation to the fatal shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins are expected to be dropped, according to the actor-producer’s lawyers.

“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,” Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office had not replied to a request for a comment at time of writing.

Baldwin was charged in January following the tragic incident on October 21 2021, when Hutchins died hours after a Colt .45 held by Baldwin discharged and hit her during a rehearsal at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The star pleaded not guilty to the charges ahead of a preliminary hearing in February and faced up to 18 months in jail. Currently in Montana preparing for the imminent resumption of production on Rust, Baldwin has said he not pull the trigger and did not know the pistole was loaded on that fateful day.

In February, the Santa Fe District Attorney’s office dropped a gun enhancement charge against Baldwin carrying a five-year sentence because that law did not apply at the time of the death.

Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was also charged with manslaughter and has pleaded not guilty. 

On Thursday Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys Jason Bowles and Todd Bullion said in a statement: “The new special prosecutor team has taken a very diligent and thorough approach to the entire investigation, which we welcome and have always welcomed. They are seeking the truth and we are also. The truth about what happened will come out and the questions that we have long sought answers for will be answered. We fully expect at the end of this process that Hannah will also be exonerated.”

Late last month Santa Fe DA Mary Carmack-Altwie stepped down from the case to focus on her broader remit and appointed special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis to focus on the case. The pair could refile charges depending on the outcome of their investigation.

Dave Halls, first assistant director on Rust at the time, received a six-month suspended sentence last month after pleading no contest to negligent use of a deadly weapon.

Deadline first reported the news about charges expecting to be dropped.

Originally published at https://www.screendaily.com/news/rust-prosecutors-drop-charges-against-alec-baldwin-say-they-may-refile-charges/5181231.article

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