The criminal charges against actor Alec Baldwin in the fatal on-set shooting of the movie “Rust” have reportedly been dropped.
ABC News reported that both counts of involuntary manslaughter facing Baldwin for the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins are in the process of being dropped by recently appointed special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis.
“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,” Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, the attorneys for Alec Baldwin, said in a statement.
Deadline reported that the investigation into Hutchins’ death is still ongoing and that “this case could be resurrected in the future.”
The Santa Fe County District Attorney’s Office dropped the gun enhancement charge against Baldwin in February because prosecutors would have to prove that he brandished the firearm with intent to harm or intimidate a person.
“In order to avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys, the District Attorney and the special prosecutor have removed the firearm enhancement to the involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the ‘Rust’ film set,” a spokesperson for First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies told Fox News Digital. “The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.”
The charges against Baldwin came after the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office turned over a 500-page report on its investigation to prosecutors in October. The report contains redactions, but the investigation found that Baldwin fired a gun with live ammunition. The report also paints a chaotic picture of what happened the day of the shooting, as well as documents repeated problems with firearms on the set.
A report signed by the New Mexico chief medical investigator found Hutchins’ death to be an “accident,” according to CNN.
“Review of available law enforcement reports showed no compelling demonstration that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition on set. Based on all available information, including the absence of obvious intent to cause harm or death, the manner of death is best classified as accident,” the report said.
Baldwin has rejected culpability in Hutchins’ death. In December 2021, Baldwin told George Stephanopoulos in an interview on ABC News that “I didn’t pull the trigger” of the prop gun that fired and killed Hutchins. Baldwin further denied responsibility in Hutchins’ death.
“I feel that someone is responsible for what happened and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me,” Baldwin told the host. “I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible, and I don’t say that lightly.”
Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who was the armorer on the film set where Hutchins was fatally shot, was also charged with involuntary manslaughter in the case.
Tim Pearce contributed to this report.