SANTA FE COUNTY, NM – Criminal charges against Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin connected to a fatal shooting on the set of the movie “Rust” that resulted in the death of the film’s cinematographer and the wounding of its director have reportedly been dropped.
On October 21, 2021, Baldwin, 65, was filming on the set of the western movie “Rust” at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when he discharged a gun being used as a prop – that had somehow been loaded with a real bullet – killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, and injuring director Joel Souza, 48.
After an investigation, Baldwin was charged by New Mexico prosecutors with involuntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter in commission of a lawful act; a firearms enhancement charge was added, which relates to an individual “brandishing” a firearm. The enhancement charge was later dropped, leaving Baldwin at the time facing a possible 18 month in prison sentence if convicted.
In addition to Baldwin, armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed had been charged with involuntary manslaughter – a felony – over the death of Hutchins. In addition, Assistant director David Halls – who reportedly handed the loaded gun to Baldwin – accepted a misdemeanor charge in a plea deal, according to special prosecutor Andrea Reeb.
Baldwin had always proclaimed his innocence and had originally pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“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,” said Baldwin’s lawyers, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, in a statement.
“Rust” is due to resume filming this week.