COURTS & LEGAL

Alec Baldwin may be charged again in fatal ‘Rust’ set shooting

Oct 17, 2023, 1:49 PM

Santa Fe, NM Sheriff's office...

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO - OCTOBER 27: A Santa Fe County Sheriff vehicle is parked in front of the Santa Fe County Public Safety Building ahead of a press conference to update members of the media on the shooting accident on the set of the movie "Rust" at the on October 27, 2021 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. On October 21, 2021, Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was injured on set while filming the movie "Rust" at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The film's star and also a producer Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm and a bullet hit Hutchins and Souza. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

(CNN) — A New Mexico grand jury will soon decide whether Alec Baldwin should once again face criminal charges over the 2021 death of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

“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,” New Mexico special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis said in a statement Tuesday. “We believe 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.”

News that a new case would go to a grand jury was first reported by NBC.

Prosecutors said they will present the case within the next two months.

“It is unfortunate that a terrible tragedy has been turned into this misguided prosecution,” Baldwin’s attorneys, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, told CNN in a statement. “We will answer any charges in court.”

Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza injured when a gun held by Baldwin fired a live round during a scene rehearsal.

Baldwin denied pulling the trigger on the weapon in a previous interview with CNN.

Involuntary manslaughter charges were dropped against Baldwin earlier this year, with the prosecutors saying in a statement at the time that they could not “proceed under the current time constraints and on the facts and evidence turned over by law enforcement in its existing form” due to “new facts” in the case.

Armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed also faces involuntary manslaughter charges in the case. She has pleaded not guilty.

The film’s assistant director, David Halls, was identified as the person who handed the firearm to Baldwin that fateful day. Earlier this year, he signed a plea agreement “for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon,” prosecutors said, noting that terms of the deal include six months of probation.

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Alec Baldwin may be charged again in fatal ‘Rust’ set shooting