Actor Alec Baldwin pleaded not guilty to felony charges of involuntary manslaughter referring to the 2021 fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of the western movie Rust.
Based on court documents released Thursday, Baldwin, 64, waived his first court appearance, which was intended to tell the 30 Rock actor of his rights going forward.
Baldwin was released without bail and reportedly agreed to the court’s terms forbidding him from possessing any weapons (including firearms) or consuming alcohol. Baldwin isn’t allowed to contact any witnesses to the on-set shooting, other than communication vital to finish the filming of Rust. He’s forbidden from discussing the accident.
Baldwin and prop armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were each charged last month with felony manslaughter within the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins.
In October 2021, Hutchins was struck and killed by a “live round” from a Colt .45 held by Baldwin during a rehearsal at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe, N.M. Rust author and director Joel Souza was also injured within the incident.
The shooting occurred as Baldwin — who’s a Rust co-producer and the lead actor — rehearsed with what he believed to be a secure gun, provided to him by Gutierrez-Reed, who was liable for the firearms on set. Baldwin has consistently denied responsibility for Hutchins’ death and said live rounds should never have been allowed onto the set. He claims he was unaware the gun was loaded when he fired.
If found guilty, Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed could serve 18 months in jail and be ordered to pay a US$5,000 high-quality.
Through his lawyer, Baldwin has previously said he “had no reason to consider there was a live bullet within the gun — or anywhere on the movie set.”
“He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun didn’t have live rounds,” Baldwin’s lawyer said. “We’ll fight these charges, and we are going to win.”
Gutierrez-Reed has argued that she verified the gun fired by Baldwin was loaded with dummy rounds before she passed it off to Rust’s assistant director, Dave Halls, who then handed it to Baldwin. Lawyers for Gutierrez-Reed have also vowed to fight the fees, blaming Halls for not allowing her to make use of a plastic gun throughout the fatal rehearsal scene.
Halls pleaded guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon and can serve a suspended sentence and 6 months of probation.
There has already been a string of civil lawsuits in response to Hutchins’ death, including an undisclosed settlement together with her widower, Matthew Hutchins. As a part of the deal, Matthew said that he’ll turn into executive producer of Rust.
The relations of Hutchins have also sued Baldwin under a civil lawsuit filed in Los Angeles.
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