The state will be dropping criminal charges against Alex Baldwin in the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins, Yahoo reports. Hutchins was killed when a firearm that Baldwin was rehearsing with accidentally went off in October 2021, killing the cinematographer on the movie set of Rust.
Baldwin insisted he did not fire the gun which was managed by weapons handler Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. But he faced two counts of involuntary manslaughter and faced up to five years in prison given the mandatory firearm enhancement charge. If the firearm enhancement charge was removed – since it was not in force when the shooting accident took place – the Emmy-award-winning actor would face up to 18 months in prison.
Although special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis will file paperwork to have the charges of involuntary manslaughter against Baldwin dismissed, the charge against Gutierrez-Reed remains in place. Despite dismissing the charge, law enforcement will continue investigations into the incident and this means that criminal charges may still surface against Baldwin if the case is reopened in the future.
Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, Baldwin’s lawyers, expressed satisfaction that the charges against the actor were dismissed. “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,” they said. Baldwin also thanked his wife Hilaria for staying by him throughout the ordeal. “I owe everything I have to this woman,” he wrote on Instagram. “And to you, Luke.”
Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys, Jason Bowles and Todd Bullion also expressed hope that their client would be exonerated very soon.
“The new special prosecutor team has taken a very diligent and thorough approach to the entire investigation, which we welcome and have always welcomed,” Bowles and Bullion stated. “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 to will be answered. We fully expect at the end of this process that Hannah will also be exonerated.”
Special prosecutors Morrissey and Lewis said the charges against Baldwin were dismissed because of new facts that emerged in the case.
“Over the last few days and in preparation for 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,” they wrote.
“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 ongoing.”
Hutchins’ husband, Mathew Hutchins, agreed that charges be dropped against Baldwin; and that a documentary film about his late wife’s life and career be produced after completing a new Rust movie.
“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” he stated. “All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”