Alec Baldwin, the famous 65-year-old Hollywood actor, is currently at the center of a legal case following the tragic shooting accident in Santa Fe that occurred during the filming of the movie Rust. Charged with involuntary manslaughter, Baldwin has chosen to plead not guilty, waiving his right to appear at the preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday, February 1st.
The incident dates back to October 2021, on the set of the western Rust on a ranch in New Mexico. Baldwin, armed with a revolver supposedly loaded with blank bullets, accidentally fired, causing the death of the director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and injuring the director, Joel Souza. Faced with serious accusations, the actor has always denied pulling the trigger, asserting that he was assured the weapon was safe.
This case has sent shockwaves through Hollywood and there have been many twists and turns since the accident. In April 2023, the charges against Baldwin were dropped. However, the prosecution restarted the proceedings in mid-January 2024, after a new expert report concluded that the weapon could not fire without pressure on the trigger.
The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is also charged with involuntary manslaughter for placing the ammunition in the weapon, when a dummy bullet should have been used. Her trial will begin on February 21st.
As for the filming of Rust, it has resumed and was completed in Montana, with Matthew Hutchins, Halyna’s widower, as executive producer. At the end of 2022, he had dropped civil charges against Baldwin, describing his wife’s death as a "terrible accident".