UPDATE: A New Mexico grand jury has indicted actor Alec Baldwin on charges of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins.
This is the second time Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter, the first coming a year ago in January 2023. However, the charges were initially dropped in April.
via Shutterstock (Vahan Stepanyan)
If Baldwin is found guilty, he could face 18 months in prison. “We look forward to our day in court,” Baldwin’s attorneys, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, said in a statement on Friday.
New video exclusively obtained by NBC News revealed Alec Baldwin’s behavior on the set of Rust. The videos also show Baldwin handling prop guns on set.
During the clips, Baldwin is seen exercising care and caution while on set while also worrying about the safety of others on the crew regardless of when prop weapons are being used.
@nbcnews A series of videos exclusively obtained by NBC News show #AlecBaldwin handling a prop gun and interacting with crew members while filming scenes for '#Rust.' The footage was taken days before Baldwin's prop gun fired a live round of ammunition on set, killing cinematographer #HalynaHutchins ♬ original sound – nbcnews
As NBC News reported on TikTok, “A series of videos exclusively obtained by NBC News shows Alec Baldwin handling a prop gun and interacting with crew members while filming scenes for ‘Rust.’ The footage was taken days before Baldwin’s prop gun fired a live round of ammunition on set, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.”
@skynews A police interview shows the moment #AlecBaldwin reacts as he is told that cinematographer #HalynaHutchins has died after being shot by a gun he was holding on the set of #Rust ♬ original sound – Sky News
Alec Baldwin Could Face New Criminal Charges Over 2021 Death on Set of ‘Rust’ – October 19, 2023
Alec Baldwin isn’t in the clear. The 65-year-old actor could be re-charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the October 2021 death of Halyna Hutchins – this coming nearly six months after his initial charges were dismissed. NBC News was the first to report the New Mexico prosecutors’ intent.
According to their sources, Baldwin’s case will be heard by a grand jury sometime in mid-November. While there have been ‘recent discussions of a plea deal’ that would knock Baldwin’s charge down to a petty misdemeanor, that deal was rescinded over the weekend and those discussions have stopped.
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 18, 2023
For those who don’t remember, Hutchins passed away when a prop gun – which was given to Baldwin – was accidentally discharged with live ammunition in it. There has been an ongoing debate online and in the courts on who is to blame for Hutchins’ tragic death. As of today, Baldwin has yet to be convicted.
“It is unfortunate that a terrible tragedy has been turned into this misguided prosecution. “We will answer any charges in court,” Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro – two of Baldwin’s lawyers – wrote in a statement. If convicted of the involuntary manslaughter charge, Alec Baldwin could face up to 18 months in prison.
NBC News is also reporting that, while prosecutors have reason to believe the gun wasn’t modified in any way prior to the shooting, they did end up finding ‘new evidence that they believe connects Baldwin to recklessness around safety standards on the set.’ Now, Baldwin’s case is in the hands of a grand jury.
In April, when the charges were dismissed by New Mexico prosecutors, MamasUncut reported that Baldwin was ‘being dismissed without prejudice’ – which opened the door for charges to get refiled if they were to find new evidence. While that hasn’t officially happened yet, we appear to be headed that way.
Prosecutors say they are ready to present new evidence and file new charges against Alec Baldwin in the 2021 shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie “Rust.” https://t.co/UrCOBv85jP pic.twitter.com/wyDfGVtJED
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) October 18, 2023
Of course, Alec isn’t the only one facing charges in connection with Hutchins’ death. The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is also facing an involuntary manslaughter charge and has a trial scheduled for February 21, 2024. David Halls, the film’s assistant director, entered a plea agreement earlier this year.
Alec Baldwin Could Face First Legal Defeat in Nearly a Year
If Alec Baldwin were to be re-charged with involuntary manslaughter, it would mark his first major legal defeat in nearly a year – though it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Being charged of a crime and being convicted of a crime are two completely different things – being charged doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted.
With that said, the recent news comes after a series of legal wins for Baldwin and his team. In February, his criminal charges were officially downgraded when prosecutors decided to remove the five-year mandatory firearm enhancement – a law that didn’t exist when the shooting took place in October 2021.
His legal team received another legal win when special prosecutor Andrea Reeb stepped down from Baldwin’s case and was replaced by Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis. Reeb’s involvement in the case was viewed as ‘unconstitutional’ since she’s a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives.
While Alec Baldwin received yet another win in April – when his charges were dismissed by Morrissey and Lewis – it appears that breath of fresh air might be coming to an end soon. In the event charges are refiled, he’ll have to go through the trial process again where he’ll likely maintain his innocence.