It’s hard to believe the news breaking at this point given all the drama in the Alec Baldwin shooting case. But his attorneys are now claiming the criminal charges against Baldwin filed by the Santa Fe District Attorney are going to be dropped. Baldwin had been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the October 2021 shooting death of Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie “Rust.”
The director of the movie, Joel Souza, was also wounded in the shooting. He was standing behind Hutchins and the bullet went thru Hutchins and into him, hitting him in the shoulder.
The assistant director David Halls had handed Baldwin the gun telling him it was a “cold gun” — meaning it didn’t have any live rounds. But Baldwin did not make sure that there weren’t any rounds and then shot the two people while pointing the gun toward the camera.
Baldwin’s lawyers Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro said 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.”
This news follows critical new info in the case, according to the LA Times. There are legal reasons that they are not proceeding at the moment and they may yet refile the matter and/or file other charges.
The stunning development comes after prosecutors received new information into the case — that the gun that Baldwin used had been modified before being delivered to the low-budget western in October 2021, the sources said.
The replica of the vintage weapon — a Colt 45 revolver — had been fitted with a new trigger, making it possible for it to misfire, as Baldwin has said, according to the sources.
Prosecutors are reserving the right to eventually charge Baldwin with a lesser charge, but they felt they needed time to investigate the new information to make sure that charges were even warranted, one of the sources said.
FBI investigators had previously said that Baldwin had to have pulled the trigger for the gun to fire, although he was denying it.
Meanwhile, charges are still pending against the movie’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. The assistant director Halls had entered into a plea agreement to a misdemeanor for negligent use of a weapon.
There were also previous issues on the set regarding gun safety and Baldwin was one of the executive producers of the movie.
The prosecutors had previously downgraded the charges against Baldwin, from facing a charge with a possible five-year prison enhancement to a charge without that enhancement, so that the most he could serve would have been 18 months.
I seriously don’t get at this point why they didn’t have all their ducks in a row when it came to charging him on this case. This is something that they should have known, especially if they waited this long to charge him in the matter. Many people saw this once again as a two-tier system of justice.
But there are still pending lawsuits out there against Baldwin, including one from Halyna Hutchins’ parents and sister. Baldwin in a disgusting move is trying to dismiss the case claiming the family wasn’t close to her.