All criminal charges against Alec Baldwin have been dropped. The legal update arrives less than two weeks before a mini-trial is scheduled to begin in New Mexico over the October 2021 killing of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
RELATED: Alec Baldwin Formally Charged With Two Counts Of Involuntary Manslaughter In 2021 ‘Rust’ Shooting
Charges Dropped Against Baldwin In Deadly Rust Set Shooting But Could Be Resurrected In The Future
Recently appointed special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis are expected to file the legal paperwork as early as today. The paperwork will dismiss the involuntary manslaughter claims against the actor without prejudice, according to Deadline.
That means as the investigation continues, this case could be resurrected.
“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,” Baldwin attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro said in a statement.
Baldwin’s co-defendant and ex-Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed still has charges pending against her. This is keeping the investigation open and retains subpoena power for prosecutors moving forward.
Both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed had previously pleaded not guilty.
Baldwin Had Repeatedly Insisted He Didn’t Pull Trigger, But FBI Report Says Otherwise
In an interview with ABC weeks after Hutchins’ slaying, Baldwin repeatedly insisted that he didn’t pull the trigger on the 1880s prop gun that killed the cinematographer.
However, the FBI disagreed with that interpretation in its report on the case released last year.
As reported by The Shade Room in January, Baldwin had been formally charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter more than a year after Halyna Hutchins died on the Rust set.
Along with a five-year mandatory firearm enhancement that later was cast aside as “unconstitutional,” those charges carried a maximum of 18 months behind bars. Additionally, the charges also carried around $5,000 in fines if a jury delivered guilty verdicts to Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed.
At the time, New Mexico officials made a plea deal with Rust assistant director Dave Halls, who was sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation.
Rust Scheduled To Begin Filming Again This Week, Hutchins Estate Settles Wrongful Death Suit
These latest developments are occurring as production on a resurrected Rust was set to start in Montana with Baldwin and director Joel Souza. Souza was wounded in the October 2021 shooting and is now set to return.
Filming was initially scheduled to begin earlier this week. However, production is now scheduled to start tomorrow (April 21), Deadline reports.
This could change based on these new developments.
The outlet also noted the coincidence of the timing between the charges being dropped and production picking back up on Rust.
The Hutchins estate settled its wrongful death suit with Rust Movie Productions LLC and Baldwin in October 2022.
As part of the deal, Halyna Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, is executive producing the new Rust production. Hutchins is also creating a documentary on his late wife’s life and burgeoning career.