Alec Baldwin Pleads Not Guilty To Involuntary Manslaughter In Fatal “Rust” Shooting Of Halyna Hutchins

Alec Baldwin has entered a not guilty plea to the involuntary manslaughter charges that resulted from the  fatal shooting on the New Mexico set of his movie “Rust,” court documents indicate. Baldwin waived his initial court appearance, which was scheduled on Friday, and filed the plea on Thursday.

District Judge Mary Sommer agreed to forego the hearing and imposed a number of restrictions on Baldwin’s release, including the actor’s inability to use a firearm or consume alcohol.

Baldwin is also forbidden from talking to prospective witnesses about the shooting and any potential testimony. He is only permitted to speak with possible witnesses “in connection with completing the ‘Rust’ movie,” Sommer wrote, and other related activities such as promotion.

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For the shooting in October 2021, in which the actor was holding a gun during a rehearsal, and it discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza, Baldwin is facing two accusations of involuntary manslaughter. Baldwin could spend up to 18 months in jail and pay a $5,000 fine if found guilty. Baldwin might have spent up to five years behind bars if the charges had originally included an enhancement, but that clause was eventually removed.

David Halls, the assistant director, is accused of careless use of a dangerous weapon, while Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the movie’s armorer, is charged with two counts of involuntary homicide. Records showed Halls entered a not-guilty plea on Thursday and waived his initial court appearance. On Friday, Gutierrez-Reed is due to virtually appear in court.

Alec Baldwin Pleads Not Guilty In 'Rust' Shooting

The gun, which shouldn’t have been loaded with a live bullet, was loaded with a live round when Baldwin said he didn’t pull the trigger. According to the prosecution, the firearm could not have fired without the trigger being pressed, and both Halls and Gutierrez-Reed were found to have neglected to check the weapon before each use properly and to supervise the user.

Baldwin, who is also a producer on the movie, is accused in a probable cause affidavit of failing to address  “multiple significant safety violations”  on the New Mexico set, and it was observed that Baldwin was given the opportunity to participate in instruction in fundamental guns safety procedures but chose not to.

“The evidence clearly indicates that Baldwin recklessly ignored these rules, on multiple occasions, resulting in the fatal shooting,” the statement said. Filming for “Rust”  is anticipated to resume at the Montana’s Yellowstone Film Ranch in the spring of 2023.

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