Alec Baldwin's Criminal Charges Dropped in Rust Shooting Case

Criminal charges against Alec Baldwin in the fatal shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins were dropped nearly two months after the actor pleaded not guilty.

By Gabrielle Chung Apr 21, 2023 12:21 AMTags
Watch: Alec Baldwin SPEAKS OUT After "Rust" Manslaughter Charge Dismissed

Alec Baldwin's involuntary manslaughter charge in the fatal shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins has been dropped.

The District Attorney of Santa Fe County in New Mexico will not be moving forward with plans to prosecute Baldwin, according to the actor's attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro.

"We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin," they said in a joint statement to NBC News, "and we encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident."

Baldwin also spoke out when he shared a photo of himself and wife Hilaria Baldwin on Instagram. "I owe everything I have to this woman," he wrote in the April 20 post, before seemingly also thanking Nikas. "(and to you, Luke)." 

News of the dismissal comes almost two months after Baldwin and Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed each pleaded not guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter in connection to Hutchins' death.

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Hutchins was fatally wounded on the set of Rust in October 2021, when a lead projectile was discharged from prop gun that Baldwin was holding. The film's director Joel Souza was also hurt in the incident, though he has since recovered from his injuries.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed were formally charged in January. The following month, Baldwin's legal team accused prosecutors of committing "a basic legal error" by charging the 65-year-old under a version of a firearm-enhancement statute that did not exist at the time of the shooting.

"It thus appears that the government intended to charge the current version of the firearm enhancement statute, which was not enacted until May 18, 2022, seven months after the accident," Baldwin's counsel argued in court documents obtained by E! News, adding that it would be "flagrantly unconstitutional" if his charges were to remain as-is.

John Lamparski/Getty Images

The five-year gun enhancement attached to the 30 Rock alum's charge was dropped in late February, significantly reducing his possible prison sentence if he were to be convicted.

Throughout the legal proceeding, Baldwin has denied any wrongdoing in Hutchins' death. "The trigger wasn't pulled," he said in a 2021 interview with ABC News. "I didn't pull the trigger."

Baldwin is scheduled to return to the Rust set as both an actor and producer when filming—which was halted in the wake of the shooting—resumes this spring. Hutchins' widower, Matthew Hutchins, has joined the project as an executive producer, while Bianca Cline will serve as the Western's new cinematographer, according to a press release previously obtained by E! News.


"Though bittersweet, I am grateful that a brilliant and dedicated new production team joining former cast and crew are committed to completing what Halyna and I started," director Souza said in a Feb. 14 statement. "My every effort on this film will be devoted to honoring Halyna's legacy and making her proud. It is a privilege to see this through on her behalf." 

E! News has reached out to Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed's legal teams, as well as the District Attorney of Santa Fe County, for comment but hasn't heard back.

(E! and NBC News are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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