New Developments in Alec Baldwin’s Manslaughter Case: Charges Dropped but Investigation Ongoing

2023-04-21 21:30:12

Lawsuits against American actor Alec Baldwin, accused of manslaughter after a fatal shooting on the set of the film Rust in 2021, were formally dropped by the prosecution on Friday, in light of “new facts” deserving of further investigation.

• Read also: Fatal shooting on set: Alec Baldwin charges to be dropped

• Read also: Deadly shooting on the film set of the film “Rust”: filming will resume this week

These new elements “require a more in-depth investigation and forensic analysis which cannot be completed before the preliminary hearing” scheduled for May 3 in this case, note the two new prosecutors who took over the case in March.

But the actor is not exempt. “The investigation is active and ongoing,” they say, reserving the right to initiate new prosecutions if necessary.

On October 21, 2021, the filming of the western Rust in New Mexico had turned tragic when Mr. Baldwin had pointed a weapon supposed to contain only blank bullets, but whose very real projectile had killed the director of photography Halyna Hutchins and wounded the director Joel Souza.

According to Los Angeles Times, the new elements brought to justice relate to the weapon of drama. The gun would have been modified before it was delivered to the film crew, thus increasing the chances of an untimely shot occurring, three sources familiar with the matter explained to the daily.

What accredit the version of the facts of Alec Baldwin, who claims his innocence from the start. The 65-year-old actor has always maintained that he was assured that his weapon was harmless and also denies having pulled the trigger.

Suspected of manslaughter, he pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he could face up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The proceedings against the gunsmith of the film, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, also accused of manslaughter, are however maintained. On Friday, the preliminary hearing concerning her was postponed to August 9.

During the initial investigation, the police concluded that she was the one who put the ammunition in the gun used by Mr. Baldwin, instead of a dummy bullet.

The prosecution had already shown signs of fragility in recent weeks.

The two prosecutors initially responsible for the case withdrew from the case. An aggravating circumstance against Mr. Baldwin, which made him face five years behind bars, was also abandoned because of a procedural flaw.

The case is now in the hands of two new prosecutors, Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis.

The filming of Rust picked up this week in Montana, with Halyna Hutchins’ widower, Matthew, serving as executive producer. In October, he dropped his civil lawsuit against Alec Baldwin after an undisclosed settlement.

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