Published7 minutes ago
Criminal charges have been dropped against Alec Baldwin over a fatal on-set shooting, according to his lawyers.
The Emmy-award winning actor was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter over the shooting during the filming of Rust in New Mexico.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed by a live bullet fired from a prop gun that was being used by Baldwin in October 2021.
The development comes less than two weeks before a trial was set to begin.
“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,” his lawyer, Luke Nikas, told the BBC in a statement.
Mr Baldwin had been practising firing the gun when it went off, fatally striking Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. The actor denied pulling the trigger.
He had been due in court for a preliminary hearing on 3 May.
The film’s armourer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is also facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors had accused Mr Baldwin of showing a “reckless” disregard for the safety of his colleagues.
Mr Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, previously called the initial decision to charge his client “a terrible miscarriage of justice”.
“Mr Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set,” Mr Nikas said.
“He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds.”
The decision comes on the same day that Rust resumed filming – 18 month after the shooting.
Melina Spadone, lawyer for Rust Movie Productions, said new rules on the set “will bar any use of working weapons and any form of ammunition”.
“Live ammunition is – and always was – prohibited on set.”
The Hollywood star last October reached a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by Hutchins’ family.
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