Alec Baldwin Gets Off Scot Free, But His Crew Does Not
Criminal charges dropped in 'Rust' movie shooting for movie star but not armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, resulting in two systems of justice for Hollywood
Alec Baldwin shot and killed his employee and got away with it. In a stunning announcement on Thursday, New Mexico prosecutors said are dismissing all criminal charges against the actor for shooting and killing Halyna Hutchinson in Oct. 2021 on the set of the movie “Rust.”
Baldwin is the lead actor and producer on the film that resumed shooting in Montana also on Thursday. Baldwin’s crew members, who didn’t shoot the gun, are not part of the movie reshoot nor the same system of justice.
New Facts: Trigger
The recently-appointed special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis put out a statement that they were filing immediately to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin. The statement:
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.
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.
Sources told the Los Angeles Times that the new evidence is that the Colt .45 revolver was modified with a new trigger before being used in the movie. These sources said the new alteration increased “the odds that the gun might have misfired.”
Baldwin insists he didn’t pull the trigger, while the FBI forensics report says he did. The actor was captured on video at a rehearsal the same day with his finger on the trigger.
The prosecutors left open the possibility that Baldwin could be charged in the future, however unlikely.
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.
The prosecutors’ statement said this about the movie’s armorer:
Charges against Hannah Gutierrez-Reed remain unchanged.
Reed, like Baldwin, was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Her attorney Jason Bowles told me that “we expect Hannah also to be eventually exonerated.” Bowles later released a statement that said in part:
The new special prosecutor team has taken a very diligent and thorough approach to the entire investigation, which we welcome … The truth about what happened will come out and the questions that we have long sought answers for will be answered.
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The movie’s assistant director, Dave Halls, pled guilty to firearms crimes on the set and was set to testify against Baldwin.
Big League Lawyers
Baldwin’s lawyers Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro released a statement:
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.
There was no lack of a “proper investigation.” The Santa Fe Sheriff’s and then the prosecutors took a total of 15 months.
The only things publicly unknown are who brought real ammunition to the movie set and what is on Baldwin’s cell phone the day of the shooting.
Baldwin’s high-priced legal team has been winning round after round against the prosecutors in Santa Fe. The preliminary hearings for the jury trial were supposed to start on May 3.
Two Systems of Justice
Baldwin admitted to breaking gun safety rules…