The charges against Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed for the accidental shooting on the set of Rust will be dropped.
Alec Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins earlier this year, but Deadline reports that those charges will be dropped.
“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,” said Alec Baldwin’s attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro in a statement. If convicted, Baldwin could have faced up to 18 months in prison. The actor has maintained that he did not pull the trigger of the Colt .45 that killed Hutchins on the set of Rust and had no clue that the gun had contained a live round. Prosecutors have said that Baldwin shouldn’t have assumed the gun was safe, as the “first rule of gun safety is never to point a gun at someone you don’t intend on shooting.“
The charges against Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the on-set armorer on Rust, will also be dropped. “The new special prosecutor team has taken a very diligent and thorough approach to the entire investigation, which we welcome and have always welcomed,” said Reed’s lawyers Jason Bowles and Todd Bulllion. “They are seeking the truth and we are also. The truth about what happened will come out and the questions that we have long sought answers for will be answered. We fully expect at the end of this process that Hannah will also be exonerated.”
The charges against Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will be dropped “without prejudice,” which means that the prosecutors could still refile charges as the investigation continues. In a statement, special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis specified that although the charges have been dropped, Alec Baldwin has not been absolved of criminal culpability. “Over the last few days and in preparation for the May 3, 2023, preliminary hearing, new facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis in the case against Alexander “Alec” Rae Baldwin, III,” reads the statement. “Consequently, we cannot proceed under the current time constraints and on the facts and evidence turned over by law enforcement in its existing form. We therefore will be dismissing the involuntary manslaughter charges against Mr. Baldwin to conduct further investigation. This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled. Our follow-up investigation will remain active and on-going.“
Production on Rust will resume this week in Montana.