Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed in 2021 during filming of a Western movie in New Mexico after a gun the actor was holding went off.
Alec Baldwin has entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the on-set shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. The incident occurred during the filming of the western movie Rust in New Mexico when a firearm Baldwin was handling discharged, resulting in Ms. Hutchins’ tragic death. Baldwin opted to forego an arraignment and was indicted by a grand jury on January 19, as per court documents. Despite his absence from court proceedings, Baldwin’s legal representation submitted the plea on his behalf. Waiving the right to an arraignment spares the defendant from appearing in court to formally enter their plea, allowing legal counsel to act on their behalf.
Under the arraignment waiver with the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe, the 30 Rock actor was granted the liberty to remain free without the necessity of posting bail. Initially charged in January 2023 in connection with the shooting incident, Baldwin’s charges were later dismissed following revelations suggesting that the revolver’s hammer may have been altered, enabling it to discharge without the trigger being engaged.
Subsequently, new charges were brought forth subsequent to an independent forensic examination which concluded that Baldwin would have had to intentionally pull the trigger of the revolver he was handling during a rehearsal for it to discharge the live round that tragically struck Hutchins, resulting in her fatal chest wound.
The results mirrored those of a prior FBI examination conducted on the firearm. Baldwin has consistently denied any involvement in triggering the gun and has distanced himself from the responsibility for Hutchins’ tragic demise.
During the filming of the movie on a set outside Santa Fe, the film’s director, Joel Souza, suffered a shoulder injury from the same bullet that claimed Hutchins’ life.
Rust’s chief weapons supervisor, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, has entered a plea of not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering, with her trial slated for February. Despite assertions of lax safety protocols on set, Baldwin and other defendants have refuted such claims.
As documented in a police report, assistant director David Halls, who passed the gun to Baldwin, assured him it was “cold,” indicating it was unloaded and contained neither live nor blank ammunition.
Halls maintained he was unaware the firearm was loaded. Last year, he reached a plea agreement resulting in a six-month suspended sentence, a $500 fine, 24 hours of community service, and enrollment in a gun safety course.
Filming resumed in Montana last year, with Baldwin returning to his lead role, following an arrangement with Hutchins’ husband, who was made an executive producer.