Actor ALEC BALDWIN pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in fatal film set shooting

Thursday, February 1, 2024
 – American actor, Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to an involuntary manslaughter charge in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a rehearsal on a Western movie set in New Mexico.

Court documents filed Wednesday show Baldwin entered the plea in state district court in Santa Fe, waiving an arraignment that had been scheduled to take place remotely by video conference the next day.

Baldwin, the lead actor and a co-producer on the Western movie Rust, was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a rehearsal outside Santa Fe in October 2021 when the gun went off, killing her and wounding director, Joel Souza.

A grand jury in Santa Fe indicted Baldwin in January after prosecutors received a new analysis of that gun, renewing a charge that prosecutors originally filed and then dismissed in April 2023.

Baldwin remains free pending trial under conditions that include not possessing firearms, consuming alcohol, or leaving the country.

The actor can also have limited contact with witnesses when it comes to promoting Rust, which has not been released for public viewing. Baldwin is prohibited from asking members of the "Rust" cast or crew to participate in a related documentary film.

Baldwin has said he pulled back the hammer, but not the trigger and the gun fired.

"Halyna and I had something profound in common, and that is that we both assumed the gun was empty ... other than those dummy rounds," Baldwin told George Stephanopoulos in an interview broadcast in December 2021 on ABC News.

An analysis of the gun conducted by Lucien and Michael Haag of Forensic Science Services in Arizona concluded that "the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver."

Rust weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed also has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, with a jury trial scheduled to start Feb. 22. She has pleaded not guilty to that charge and a second charge of tampering with evidence in Hutchins' death.

Gutierrez-Reed also was charged with carrying a gun into a downtown Santa Fe bar days before she was hired to work as the armourer on Rust. She has pleaded not guilty to that charge, too.

Baldwin faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted.

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