Alec Baldwin cleared of “Rust” shooting involuntary manslaughter.
The criminal charges against Alec Baldwin for the 2021 “Rust” shooting death are reportedly going to be dismissed. Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis, two new special prosecutors, are anticipated to file the paperwork soon to drop the involuntary manslaughter charges without prejudicing anyone.
Lawyers for Alec Baldwin, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, responded to the announcement by saying, “We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident,” as reported by CNN.
Baldwin’s prop gun accidentally fired and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on set, and this decision comes only two weeks before a mini-trial was slated to begin. Joel Souza, the film’s director, was shot as well, but he was not the subject of any criminal proceedings.
Baldwin, who claimed he never touched the rifle, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in February. Evidence presented by the prosecution included “photos and videos clearly show Baldwin, multiple times, with his finger inside the trigger guard and on the trigger” before the fatal shooting.
Baldwin’s charges are being dismissed, but his involvement in the case may be revisited if his co-defendant and former armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is not exonerated.
“Alec Baldwin is not responsible for Ms. Hutchins’ death,” Baldwin’s counsel said in a statement on the upcoming trial. He was not criminally negligent and did not want to injure her.
The charges will be dropped soon, and it has nothing to do with the making of the film. This week, production on “Rust” will resume in Montana, according to insiders.
Concerns have been voiced regarding the lack of safety measures and the usage of real firearms on film sets since the event. Variety reports that in the wake of the “Rust” shooting, the entertainment industry is pushing for stricter workplace safety regulations. A safety consultant has stated, “It’s time for the industry to be re-educated, and for safety to be the top priority on set.”