On April 21, special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis officially dismissed the criminal charges Alec Baldwin was facing for the shooting of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021.
Baldwin was facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter. These are the same charges that “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is facing, although her preliminary hearing has been postponed until August.
Although the charges have been dropped, special prosecutors made it clear that they dismissed the charges without prejudice, and could file criminal charges again as they continue their investigation.
Alec Baldwin Could Face Criminal Charges Again In The Future
Only one day before they formally filed to dismiss the charges in the 1st Judicial District Court of Santa Fe county, special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis released a statement explaining exactly why they planned to drop the charges.
“Over the last few days and in preparation for the May 3, 2023, preliminary hearing, new facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis in the case against Alexander ‘Alec’ Rae Baldwin, III,” they began.
“Consequently, we cannot proceed under the current time constraints and on the facts and evidence turned over by law enforcement in its existing form,” they continued. “We therefore will be dismissing the involuntary manslaughter charges against Mr. Baldwin to conduct further investigation.”
“This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled,” they warned. “Our follow-up investigation will remain active and on-going.”
Halyna Hutchins’ Parents, Sister ‘Remain Hopeful’ That Alec Baldwin Will Still Face Criminal Charges For ‘Rust’ Shooting
In February 2023, Hutchins’ mother Olga Solovey, her father Anatolii Androsovych, and sister Svetlana Zemko, filed a lawsuit against Alec Baldwin, “Rust” producers, and a handful of other companies and individuals claiming negligence that resulted in Halyna’s death.
After the charges were dropped, attorney Gloria Allred, who represents the family, said that her clients “remain hopeful” that Baldwin will face justice, despite the current decision to drop charges against the actor in a new statement provided to Deadline.
“Mr. Baldwin may pretend that he is not responsible for pulling the trigger and ejecting a live bullet which ended Halyna’s life,” she said in a statement. “He can run to Montana and pretend that he is just an actor in a wild west movie but, in real life, he cannot escape from the fact that he had a major role in a tragedy which had real-life consequences.”
It’s worth noting that Gloria Allred is also representing “Rust” script supervisor Mamie Mitchell in the lawsuit that she filed against Baldwin and other “Rust” producers in November 2021.
Alec Baldwin Tries To Get Out Of The Hutchins’ Lawsuit
In April, Baldwin’s legal team tried to argue that he should not be named in the new lawsuit filed by Halyna Hutchins’ parents and sister. While admitting that “the loss of a daughter and sister is undoubtedly painful in any circumstance,” Baldwin’s legal team claimed that Hutchins’ family have “been distanced from Halyna physically, financially, and emotionally for years before her death” and “have no viable cause of action against Defendants.”
Baldwin’s legal team went on to call the new lawsuit “misguided,” adding, “Even if New Mexico law were to apply, Plaintiffs’ cause of action would still fail, as Plaintiffs’ complaint provides nothing more than a single conclusory statement, that, no matter how often it is repeated cannot support a sufficiently close relationship under the law, as required by New Mexico law to state a claim for loss of consortium.”
Matthew Hutchins Settled His Lawsuit With ‘Rust’ Producers
In February 2022, months after Halyna’s passing, her husband, Matthew Hutchins, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Alec Baldwin and other “Rust” producers. That lawsuit was settled in October 2022. As part of the settlement, Matthew will serve as an executive producer on the film.
In a statement at the time, Matthew Hutchins said, “We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, for our wrongful death case against the producers of Rust, including Alec Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions, LLC. As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed.”
“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” Hutchins added. “All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”
He is said to have given his “blessing and support” to the new cinematographer, Bianca Cline, who has worked on the critically acclaimed “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.” According to Rust Movie Productions, Cline will donate her salary to charity.
Director Joel Souza has said that the decision to finish the movie with Matthew Hutchins is “bittersweet” but will finish the film “on Halyna’s behalf.”
He echoed comments from “Rust” producers that no “working firearms” or ammunition will be allowed on set for the Western film, which is expected to wrap in May.