Alec Baldwin’s Attorneys Expect Charges to Be Dropped in Fatal “Rust” Movie Set Shooting Case

On Thursday, Alec Baldwin’s attorneys announced that they expect charges against the actor for the fatal shooting on the set of his Western movie “Rust” in 2021 to be dropped by New Mexico prosecutors. Baldwin was rehearsing a scene while holding a gun that went off, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

Alec Baldwin's Attorneys Expect Charges to Be Dropped in Fatal

“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’s attorneys, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro said in a statement to CBS News. The entertainment news outlet first reported the news.

CBS News has reached out to prosecutors for comment. Legal contributor, Jessica Levinson noted that District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies appointed two new special prosecutors to take over the case at the end of March.

“We have to surmise that they didn’t think they could prove this beyond a reasonable doubt to a juror,” Levinson said.

Baldwin and the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, were charged with involuntary manslaughter in January. In February, prosecutors dropped a firearm enhancement that would have required each of them to serve a mandatory five-year sentence if convicted.

It wasn’t immediately clear how Thursday’s developments affected the prosecution against Gutierrez-Reed.

Levinson noted that a new theory of the case could focus more on Gutierrez-Reed. “If it’s her fault, if she’s the one who engaged in criminal conduct, then it does make sense, based on a theory of the case, to say, well, he could have trusted her,” Levinson said.

Baldwin has long denied pulling the gun’s trigger, but prosecutors said the weapon couldn’t fire unless the trigger were pressed.

The “Rust” movie set shooting tragedy on October 21, 2021, sent shockwaves across the film industry, leading to a re-examination of on-set safety protocols.

In the aftermath of the shooting, several crew members spoke out about the conditions on the set, including a walk-off of crew members hours before the incident. The walk-off was related to the crew’s frustration over long working hours and concerns about gun safety.

The incident has sparked a wider discussion about the use of firearms on film sets, with some calling for a complete ban on live ammunition during productions.

Baldwin has expressed remorse over the shooting, saying, “there are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother, and deeply admired colleague of ours.

The incident has raised questions about the responsibilities of actors and production staff when handling firearms on set. The incident has also called for greater oversight and regulation of on-set safety practices.

The developments in the Baldwin case come as Hollywood grapples with the aftermath of the shooting, with many questioning the use of firearms in films and the safety protocols on set.

As the legal case continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how the film industry will respond to the tragedy and what measures will be put in place to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.