Alec Baldwin may be criminally charged again with proof he pulled the trigger
A new forensic report proves Baldwin pulled the trigger and could have recognized live ammo from the Hollywood dummies if he had checked the gun
Alec Baldwin lied about not pulling the trigger on the loaded gun pointed at his cinematographer, according to a new forensic report. The actor now faces being criminally charged— again— for shooting and killing Halyna Hutchins on the “Rust” movie set.
Back in April, Baldwin seemed to get off scot-free and let his crew take the fall when the involuntary manslaughter charges against him were dropped. That happened after Baldwin’s high-priced lawyers convinced the New Mexico special prosecutors that the Colt revolver may have been modified.
Special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis sent the gun to Lucien C. Haag, a criminalist and forensic firearms examiner, who concluded it worked just fine. The final 30-page report is in the court filing at the bottom of this story for paid subscribers to read.
Haag determined that the gun had not been altered before the shooting. He then shut down Baldwin’s biggest excuse:
Although Alec Baldwin repeatedly denies pulling the trigger, given the tests, findings and observations reported here, the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver.
Haag included photos from videos made on the day of the shooting (above) with notations about Baldwin’s finger on the trigger and his thumb holding down the hammer.
Criminal charges 2.0
Baldwin told the media after the shooting that “inside sources” said he would not face criminal charges for shooting Hutchins and director Joel Souza.
Well, Baldwin was right for over a year. Then he was wrong. Then he was right. Now it’s unclear.
The prosecutors said that dropping the charges in order to investigate the gun did not “absolve” Baldwin “of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled” within 60 days. That deadline passed. A spokesman for the lawyers did not reply to my request for more information.
The new forensics report was only made public from a court filing by attorneys for the movie’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in advance of her December trial. Reed loaded the gun and gave it to the assistant director Dave Halls who gave it to Baldwin. Halls pled guilty.
Baldwin told the sheriff’s deputies, ABC News and other media outlets that he never pulled the trigger. He claimed it just “went off” on its own after he pulled back the hammer and pointed it at Hutchins.
His excuse had holes in it from basic gun function and a video of Baldwin rehearsing earlier the same day (below) showed him with his finger on the trigger.
The excuse should have totally fallen apart after the FBI did a complete forensics investigation that concluded that the gun could only fire with the trigger pulled. But the agency muddied the case because it broke the gun in its testing.
Haag rebuilt the gun to its original condition for his analysis.
Live rounds on set
Baldwin blamed his crew for not checking if the gun was loaded with live rounds before he pulled back the hammer and aimed it directly at Hutchins.
The new forensics sadly explains how the real ammunition could have been recognized if someone had checked before shooting. Haag’s report says the five total live rounds on the set could be differentiated from the dummy cartridges by these methods:
lacked any hole in their case walls
would not rattle when shaken
The real ammo also had “unstruck, nickel-plated primers” and “bullets that were bright/shiny compared to the often dull, partly oxidized bullets in the dummy cartridges.”
New Baldwin forensics report:
We still don’t know…