Celebrity News April 21, 2023
‘Rust’ Charges Against Alec Baldwin Dropped, Prop Gun Was Reportedly Modified
Alec Baldwin is no longer facing criminal charges in the “Rust” shooting case, The L.A. Times reports. There is, however, a status conference related to the case scheduled today. See details below.
New Mexico prosecutors dropped the charges late Thursday due to new information in the case.
Special prosecutors Kari T. Morrissey and Jason J. Lewis, who had been preparing for a preliminary hearing May 3, said in a statement, “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. 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."
On Thursday, Baldwin’s attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro told “Extra” in 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.”
Sources tell The Times that the charges were dropped after the special prosecutors received new information about the prop gun used in the shooting.
In October 2021, Baldwin, an actor in and producer on “Rust,” was holding the gun that discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza on the set in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has denied any wrongdoing. He pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in February.
Now the insiders say the replica Colt .45 revolver was modified prior to being used on “Rust” and more likely to misfire.
Baldwin has long maintained that he did not pull the trigger that day.
In December 2021 he sat down for an emotional interview with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos.
At one point, George asked, “It wasn't in the script for the trigger to be pulled.” Alec responded, “Well, the trigger wasn't pulled. I didn't pull the trigger.”
Stephanopoulos reiterated, “So you never pulled the trigger?” Baldwin insisted, “No, no, no, no… I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them, never.”
There is a status conference scheduled today at 1:30 p.m. PT in the cases of State v. Alexander Rae Baldwin and State v. Hannah Gutierrez. Gutierrez was the armorer on the "Rust" set.
A livestream of the conference is available here.