Insiders reveal why Alec Baldwin charges in Rust shooting were dropped

Charges against Baldwin were dropped on Friday

Ariana Baio
Saturday 22 April 2023 18:10 BST
All criminal charges against Alec Baldwin over Halyna Hutchins shooting dropped, lawyers say

The involuntary manslaughter charges against actor Alec Baldwin in the Rust shooting may have been dropped due to a malfunction with the gun, new report claims.

The prop gun Mr Baldwin was holding when it discharged a fatal shot at Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in 2021 was allegedly found to be mechanically improper, ABC News reported, citing unnamed sources.

Investigators conducted an analysis of the gun and found that there were worn joints and the trigger control was not functioning properly.

This led prosecutors to conclude that the gun could fire without pressure on the trigger, undermining the original argument that the gun could not have fired unless Mr Baldwin pulled the trigger.

Prosecutors Jason Lewis and Kari Morrissey formally dropped the charges against Mr Baldwin on Friday, 21 April, saying they were unable to proceed with the case due to new information.

“We cannot proceed under the current time constraints and on the facts and evidence turned over by law enforcement in its existing form,” the prosecutors said in a statement obtained by a PA news agency.

“New facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis,” the prosecutors said.

A preliminary hearing for the case was initially set for 3 May.

Mr Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter in February for firing a gun on the set of the Western film Rust in October 2021 which killed Ms Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

Mr Baldwin pled not guilty to the charges and has denied pulling the trigger.

Although the involuntary manslaughter charges are being dismissed now, prosecutors included in their filing that this does not “absolve Mr Baldwin of criminal culpability” and a follow-up investigation will continue.

Mr Baldwin posted an Instagram photo in response to the news, thanking his wife, Hilaria Baldwin, and one of his lawyers, Luke Nikas.

“I owe everything I have to this woman,” Mr Baldwin wrote. “(and to you, Luke).”

The involuntary manslaughter charges against Rust’s weapons supervisor, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, are still in place.

A judge in New Mexico will decide next month if the charges should go forward.

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