Alec Baldwin (65) does not have to answer for the time being because of negligent homicide in court. The charges against the actor have been dropped, as reported by several US media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and the industry magazine The Hollywood Reporter, citing Baldwin's attorneys.
"We are pleased with the decision to dismiss Alec Baldwin and we support an appropriate investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident," Baldwin's attorneys said in a statement. The public prosecutor's office has not yet commented. Baldwin had pleaded not guilty and would have faced 18 months in prison if convicted.
A fatal incident occurred on the set of the western "Rust" in October 2021. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (1979-2021) was hit by a bullet from a gun during a rehearsal during filming and died of her injuries. Director Joel Souza (49) was also injured.
Baldwin was preparing for a scene when he pointed the gun at the camerawoman and a shot went off. The 64-year-old denied any responsibility for the incident. Among other things, he had asserted that he had not pulled the trigger, but that the shot had gone off. According to investigations, the gun contained live ammunition.
Prosecutors in the US state of New Mexico officially filed charges against Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film's armorer, in late January 2023. The lawsuit against Gutierrez-Reed was also dropped, as her attorney explained, according to The Hollywood Reporter. However, according to the report, there is a possibility that prosecutors will re-indict Baldwin and the gunsmith at a later date.
The assistant director Dave Halls (63), who finally handed the loaded gun to Baldwin, was sentenced to a six-month suspended sentence at the end of March. Meanwhile, filming on the western is set to resume later this week.