(trendingpoliticsnews) – It has been reported that all charges against actor Alec Baldwin have been dropped in relation to the fatal shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins back in October 2021. This decision comes less than two weeks before a mini-trial was scheduled to begin in New Mexico. However, the charges have been dismissed without prejudice, meaning they could be reinstated at a later date.
Recently appointed special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis are expected to file paperwork soon to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter claims against the actor. This move allows the prosecutors to investigate further into the circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the death of Hutchins.
Baldwin’s co-defendant and ex-Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed still has charges standing against her, according to reports. This means that the probe into the tragic incident remains open, and prosecutors retain subpoena power to gather more evidence.
Baldwin attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro said in a statement, “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.”
Baldwin has been insisting time and time again that he did not pull the trigger of the 1880s prop gun that fatally shot Hutchins. But the FBI’s report on the incident, which came out last year, tells a different story and contradicts Baldwin’s claim. To further complicate matters, Baldwin’s lawyers have contested the state of the gun, which means that the firearm will likely undergo more scrutiny in any future investigations.
The dropped charges against Baldwin have coincided with the revival of Rust’s production, which is set to take place in Montana. Baldwin and director Joel Souza are set to return to the project. The production was initially scheduled to commence earlier this week, but with the latest developments, it is now rumored to begin tomorrow. However, the timeline may still shift depending on the ongoing investigation.
The tragic incident that claimed the life of Halyna Hutchins is a reminder of the importance of safety on movie sets. On October 21, 2021, Alec Baldwin was filming a scene for the movie Rust at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico. During the scene, he was handed a prop gun that was supposed to be loaded with blanks, but instead, it fired a live round.
The bullet struck Halyna Hutchins, the movie’s cinematographer, in the chest, and Joel Souza, the movie’s director, in the shoulder. Hutchins was pronounced dead at a local hospital, while Souza was treated for his injuries and released.
The incident sparked a national conversation about gun safety on movie sets and led to renewed calls for stricter regulations around the use of prop firearms in film and television productions. The investigation into the shooting was led by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office. In December 2021, the FBI also released its findings, which contradicted Baldwin’s claim that he did not pull the trigger of the gun.
The decision to drop the charges against Baldwin without prejudice means that the investigation into the incident is ongoing, and the charges could be reinstated at a later date. The case against Gutierrez-Reed, who was responsible for the prop gun, is still active.