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Alec Baldwin charged again over fatal shooting on film set

todayJanuary 20, 2024 3

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Alec Baldwin charged again over fatal shooting on film set

Alec Baldwin has been indicted on involuntary manslaughter after the death of a producer on the set of Rust – the second time he has been charged.

The Grand Jury indictment was filed in Santa Fe, New Mexico, today over the death of Halyna Hutchins, who died after a prop gun, held by Baldwin, went off on set in October 2021.

New forensic tests have concluded Baldwin, 65, would have had to pull the trigger to fire the live round – a finding matched by a previous FBI test – but he has said he only pulled back the hammer.

Responding to the indictment, the actor’s lawyers said “we look forward to our day in court”.

All criminal charges were dropped in April last year based on evidence the hammer – the part of a revolver that gets pulled back to build momentum before firing – might have been modified, allowing it to be shot without the trigger being pulled.

They later began considering whether to refile a charge in light of the new analysis which relied on replacement parts to reassemble the pistol after it was broken during FBI testing.

The new report states: “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.”

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

Image:
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

The earlier FBI analysis found – as is common with this type of firearm – the gun could go off without pulling the trigger if force were applied to an uncocked hammer.

This could be done by dropping the weapon, for example.

The only way analysts could get it to fire was by striking the gun with a mallet while the hammer was down and resting on the cartridge, or by pulling the trigger while it was fully cocked.

The gun eventually broke during testing.

‘Always sought truth’

There have been a series of civil lawsuits since the shooting, including wrongful death claims filed by members of Mrs Hutchins’ family.

These claims centre on accusations the defendants were lax with safety standards – though Baldwin and other defendants have disputed those allegations.

Alec Baldwin is seen talking to investigators on the Rust film set following the 2021 shooting. Pic: AP/Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office

Image:
Alec Baldwin is seen talking to investigators on the Rust film set following the 2021 shooting. Pic: AP/Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office

Gloria Allred, a lawyer for Mrs Hutchins’ family, said her clients have “always sought the truth”.

“They continue to seek the truth in our civil lawsuit for them and they also would like there to be accountability in the criminal justice system,” she said.

Read more:
First images of Alec Baldwin on set of Rust after filming resumes

“We are looking forward to the criminal trial, which will determine if he should be convicted for the untimely death of Halyna.”

The movie set’s weapons supervisor, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering in the case, with her trial scheduled to begin in February.

Filming resumed last year in Montana after an agreement with the cinematographer’s widower Matthew Hutchins made him an executive producer.

Written by: Newsroom

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