Alec Baldwin Pleads Not Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter in Rust Shooting of Halyna Hutchins

Alec Baldwin has entered a not guilty plea after facing an involuntary manslaughter charge in connection with the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of their movie Rust.

By Corinne Heller Feb 23, 2023 11:23 PMTags
Watch: Alec Baldwin Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter in Rust Case

Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of their film Rust.

The actor, who previously denied any wrongdoing in connection with her 2021 death, entered his plea in a Feb. 23 filing at a court in Santa Fe, N.M., more than three weeks after he and set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were formally charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The armorer's lawyer told The New York Times she planned to plead not guilty at a virtual hearing scheduled Feb. 24. Previously, assistant director David Halls, signed a plea deal over the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon in connection with the fatal shooting and was given six months of probation.

The Santa Fe County district attorney's office had alleged in a Feb. 7 statement that that Hutchins "died because of gross negligence and a reckless disregard for safety on the Rust film set." The 42-year-old was killed by a lead projectile that was fired from a vintage .45 Colt revolver used as a prop, which Baldwin had been holding while rehearsing for the movie.

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He told ABC News in 2021 that while he cocked the gun, "The trigger wasn't pulled. I didn't pull the trigger."

The Departed actor's not guilty plea comes less than a week after prosecutors dropped a five-year gun enhancement attached to his and Gutierrez-Reed's charges, following a filing from his attorneys. This reduces any possible prison sentences, should they be convicted, to a maximum of 18 months in prison, according to The New York Times.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Universal Pictures, Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

In addition to their criminal charges, Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are also named in a civil lawsuit filed by Hutchins' Ukraine-based parents and sister, who allege battery, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and loss of consortium in connection with the cinematographer's death. The actor and armorer have not commented on the civil case.

Baldwin had previously been named in a wrongful death lawsuit that Hutchins' husband Matthew Hutchins, father of their son Andros, 10, filed in 2022. The case was dismissed when without any admission of wrongdoing after the parties reached a settlement.

Matthew later said in a statement that filming on Rust will resume with himself as an executive producer. Earlier this month, it was announced production on the film would begin again in the spring, with Baldwin in tow.

"The production will continue to utilize union crew members and will bar any use of working weapons and any form of ammunition," a press release stated. "Live ammunition is—and always was—prohibited on set."

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