1705733788 Fatal shooting in the film Rust Alec Baldwin again charged

Fatal shooting in the film “Rust”: Alec Baldwin again charged with involuntary manslaughter

LOS ANGELES | New legal twist for Alec Baldwin: After charges against him for a fatal shooting on the set of the film were initially dropped rust In 2021, the American actor was charged again with manslaughter on Friday.

• Also read: Alec Baldwin's fatal shooting: Will the 'Rust' gunsmith finally reveal where the fatal bullet came from?

On October 21, 2021, the filming of the western “Rust” in New Mexico (southwest of the USA) turned into drama when Alec Baldwin aimed a gun that was supposed to only contain empty bullets, but a very real projectile shot camerawoman Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was injured.

This rare news shocked Hollywood and provoked calls for a ban on firearms on sets.

Fatal shooting in the film “Rust”: Alec Baldwin again charged with involuntary manslaughter

Halyna Hutchins AFP

The 65-year-old actor, who faces 18 months in prison if convicted, protested his innocence from the start. He always maintained that he had been assured that his weapon was harmless and also denied having pulled the trigger.

But the investigation, marked by several weaknesses on the part of the prosecution and in which several prosecutors succeeded one another, has still not been able to establish with certainty what really happened: the whole question is whether the Colt. 45, held by Alec Baldwin, may or may not have triggered on its own.

“We look forward to our appearance in court,” his attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro responded in a press release.

Contradictory elements

In her press release announcing the new charges, the prosecutor in charge did not explain her decision.

However, according to Variety magazine, a new assessment of the weapon in question conducted this summer concluded that it could only be fired by pulling the trigger.

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This weapon was broken during testing by the FBI during the initial investigation, had to be rebuilt, and was the subject of conflicting theories.

An initial manslaughter charge against Alec Baldwin led to the charges being dropped in April.

At the time, new investigative evidence suggested the weapon may have been modified before it was given to the film crew, increasing the likelihood of an accidental shooting, according to the Los Angeles Times.

However, prosecutors warned that the investigation is ongoing and the actor will not be exonerated. New prosecutions remained possible and finally took place on Friday.

The armorer will soon be in court

The film's gunsmith, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is also charged with manslaughter in the case and her trial is scheduled to begin on February 21.

During the initial investigation, police concluded that she was the one who put the ammunition in the gun used by Alec Baldwin, and not a dummy.

Fatal shooting in the film “Rust”: Alec Baldwin again charged with involuntary manslaughter

Hannah Gutierrez Reed | Voices of the West/Facebook

The investigation never clarified how live ammunition could have ended up on the set, where only blank cartridges are allowed.

Filming on Rust officially resumed in March in Montana, with Halyna Hutchins' widower Matthew serving as executive producer.

At the end of 2022, he dropped the civil proceedings he had initiated against Alec Baldwin following the expiration of a settlement, the amount of which was not disclosed. At the time, he attributed his wife's death to “a terrible accident.”

However, Halyna Hutchins' Ukrainian parents and sister are still seeking damages from Alec Baldwin as part of a civil lawsuit.

The prosecution “decided that there was sufficient evidence to charge Alec Baldwin with manslaughter,” her attorney Gloria Allred responded Friday. “We look forward to the criminal trial, which will determine whether he should be convicted for Halyna’s untimely death.”

Parallel to Rust, a documentary about the life of Halyna Hutchins and the end of filming will also be produced.