Alec Baldwin to be charged again for crew member's slaying

October 19, 2023
Matthew Boose

Nearly two years after the fatal shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, Alec Baldwin is facing criminal charges again for his role in the crew member's slaying. 

The actor had manslaughter charges dropped months ago, but prosecutors in New Mexico now say they believe he has "criminal culpability."

"After extensive investigation over the past several months, additional facts have come to light that we believe show Mr. Baldwin has criminal culpability in the death of Halyna Hutchins and the shooting of Joel Souza," special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis said in a statement.

Baldwin to face charges

The prosecutors added, "The appropriate course of action is to permit a panel of New Mexico citizens to determine from here whether Mr. Baldwin should be held over for criminal trial."

Baldwin was rehearsing a scene when he fired a prop gun that was loaded with a live round, killing Hutchins. He has denied responsibility for the October 2021 incident, claiming the gun went off by itself.

His lawyers called the prosecution "misguided" and pledged to fight any charges that are coming.

"It is unfortunate that a terrible tragedy has been turned into this misguided prosecution," his attorneys, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro of Quinn Emanuel, said in a statement to ABC News.

Back and forth

Prosecutors had previously dropped charges in April, citing "new facts" that suggested the gun may have been modified.

However, that theory was discredited by an analysis commissioned by the prosecutors, which found the gun could not have fired (duh) without Baldwin pulling the trigger.

"Given the tests, findings and observations reported here, the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver," the investigators wrote.

Actor denies responsibility

Prosecutors have said the producers "cut corners" to save money, and that the movie's armorer was denied a request to give Baldwin more firearms training. The armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, has already been charged with manslaughter.

The judge has ordered the production company to hand over documents on their agreement with Baldwin, who is also a producer for the film. He has consistently blamed others involved in the production for the tragedy.

"Someone is ​responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me," Baldwin told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in December 2021.

The actor has reached a settlement with Hutchins' family of an undisclosed amount.

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