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Alec Baldwin Pleads Not Guilty in Rust Shooting Case

Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges related to the 2021 on-set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during the production of the film, Rust in New Mexico. By: Wee Yan Ling

Legal proceedings had revealed that Baldwin, renowned for his role in 30 Rock had entered a not guilty plea and was released under specific conditions, one of which is his limitation in possessing firearms. Baldwin continues to deny responsibility for Hutchins’ death and asserted that he was told the gun was unloaded, and it fired by accident.

 

On October 21, 2021, Baldwin was rehearsing a scene where he needed to cross-draw a revolver. As the crew got ready for the scene, the firearm was discharged without notice which resulted in Ms Hutchins getting hit by the bullet in the chest. The director, Joel Souza, had also sustained an injury to the shoulder. Ms Hutchins, aged 42 was airlifted to the hospital where she passed on and Mr Souza, aged 48 was conveyed to the hospital by the ambulance where he was discharged the following day. Baldwin continues to deny responsibility for Hutchins’ death and asserted that he was told the gun was unloaded, and it fired by accident.

The prosecutors dropped charges initially due to the uncertainties regarding the firearm used by Baldwin. A grand jury indictment follows an independent forensic test where it was revealed that the gum would not fire unless the trigger is pulled. The revelation was disclosed days after special prosecutor Kari Morrissey attributes the live round’s presence in set to the movie’s weapons handler, Hannah Gutierrez.

 

The latest developments had proposed a potential reevaluation of charges against Baldwin who continues to reject accountability for the mishap. Hannah Gutierrez is charged with involuntary manslaughter for lapses in ammunition checks and allowing live rounds on set. 

 

State regulators had issued penalties to the Rust production company and the state had given a penalty of $136,793 which is the maximum allowed under New Mexico law. The company had appealed the fine initially but had announced a settlement agreement that involved downgrading the citation. 

 

A wrongful-death lawsuit was filed by Hutchin’s family against the crew members and producers leading to a settlement. As a component of an agreement disclosed in October, Ms Hutchins’s spouse will be wearing the hat of the executive producer for the film which will be resuming production in Montana, featuring Baldwin. 

 

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