A manslaughter charge against Alec Baldwin are expected to be dropped, according to a report from Variety on Thursday, April 20. The actor, 65, was charged with manslaughter with a firearm enhancement back in January for the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust in October 2021. The firearm enhancement had been dropped in February.
Alec’s lawyers still encouraged an investigation, but said that they were “pleased” that the charges were dropped 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,” they told Variety.
Alec had pleaded “not guilty” to the charge in February. He and the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were each charged with involuntary manslaughter by Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies in January. Assistant director David Halls had taken a plea agreement for negligent use of a deadly weapon. If Alec had been found guilty, he could have faced up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
While Alec’s charges were dropped, he does have a lawsuit against the crew of the film, citing negligence. His attorneys filed a lawsuit against Hannah, David, as well as props master Sarah Zachry and weapons supplier Seth Kenney. “This tragedy happened because live bullets were delivered to the set and loaded into the gun, Gutierrez-Reed failed to check the bullets or the gun carefully, Halls failed to check the gun carefully and yet announced the gun was safe before handing it to Baldwin, and Zachry failed to disclose that Gutierrez-Reed had been acting recklessly off set and was a safety risk to those around her,” his lawyer said the filing.
The 30 Rock alum had also reached a settlement with Halyna’s family in a wrongful death lawsuit in October 2022. The late cinematographer’s husband Matthew Hutchins was named an executive producer on the film, which continued filming after the settlement. On the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, Alec did share a tribute to Halyna on his Instagram.