Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ shooting

FILE – On this Sunday, September 12, 2021, photo Alec Baldwin watches the men’s singles final of the US Open tennis championships in New York. A prop firearm fired by veteran actor Alec Baldwin, who is starring in and producing a Western film, killed his director of photography and injured the director on Thursday, October 1. 21, 2021 at the film set outside Santa Fe, NM, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
(Associated Press)

Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ shooting

Mega James

January 31, 2024

Actor Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the accidental fatal shooting of “Rust” movie cinematographer

Halyna Hutchins

and waived his right to an arraignment hearing.

A New Mexico grand jury indicted Baldwin earlier this month, finding there was enough evidence to charge him in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during the filming of the Western.


on Oct. January 21, 2021. Grand jurors ruled Baldwin should face charges


charged with involuntary manslaughter


because, according to the complaint, he acted negligently in the film, which is set south of Santa Fe.

If Baldwin is convicted of the charge, a fourth-degree felony, he could serve up to 18 months in prison under New Mexico law.

In new court documents released Wednesday, Baldwin agreed to allow the case to proceed without arraignment. He electronically signed a statement stating:


“I plead NOT GUILTY to all allegations in the complaint or citation.”

Baldwin has long maintained that he did not pull the trigger, only that he pulled back the hammer of the Pietta revolver, a replica of a vintage pistol from the 1880s.

who fired the fatal shot

. Baldwin was handed the gun by the film’s assistant director




told them it was cold, which meant there was no ammunition. However, the weapon contained five so-called dummy bullets and one live bullet.

Weapons experts, including FBI analysts, have done so consistently

said maintained

that the gun could not have fired unless Baldwin pulled the trigger.

Baldwin’s prosecution is fraught. A year ago, prosecutors charged him with involuntary manslaughter, but the charge was dropped last spring when a new special prosecutor joined the case. She received information that the gun may have been modified before it was delivered to the set, making it more susceptible to misfires.

But tests over the summer showed the weapon likely worked as designed, and the special prosecutor, Kari T. Morrissey, announced late last year that she would take her case to a grand jury.

The Hollywood performers union SAG-AFTRA issued a statement last week in support of Baldwin, for which he is famous

are like this



’30 Rock’, ‘It’s complicated



“The Hunt for Red October” and for impersonating former President Trump on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” SAG-AFTRA said it is not the job of actors to be firearms experts.

in a statement defending actor Alec Baldwin, who is facing criminal charges in New Mexico for his role in the accidental fatal shooting on the set of

western film Rust.

A judge released Baldwin on his own recognizance.

A release order was recorded


the 65-year-old actor must obey all laws. He may not possess firearms or dangerous weapons and may not drink or use illegal substances. In addition, Baldwin is not allowed to discuss the “Rust” evidence or the prosecution with witnesses in the case. He cannot leave the US without permission from a judge.

It’s been more than two years since Baldwin accidentally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza during an unscheduled rehearsal in an old Western church on Bonanza Creek Ranch, a popular filming location in the desert south of Santa Fe.


. Hutchins died that afternoon, and Souza, who was shot in the shoulder, recovered.

The film’s gunmaker, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, was also charged with involuntary manslaughter


. Her case will go to trial next month

in Santa Fe

. She has pleaded not guilty.


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