In the aftermath of the fatal 2021 'Rust' shooting, Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin finds himself entangled in a legal web, navigating stringent restrictions and potential ramifications. In a latest development Mr Baldwin, 65, pleaded not guilty to a new charge of involuntary manslaughter over the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Ms Hutchins was shot dead on the set of Rust, a forthcoming Western movie filmed near Santa Fe in New Mexico in October 2021. The actor had been practicing firing a pistol for a scene when the incident happened. Similar charges were dropped in April, just two weeks before he was due to go on trial, but New Mexico prosecutors say there is new forensic evidence that had emerged from forensic tests on the weapon used in the shooting, in which director Joel Souza was also wounded.
Baldwin beyond pleading 'not guilty' has also argued he is not at fault for Ms Hutchins death because he did not know the weapon contained live rounds and because no live ammunition was supposed to be on set.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armorer, the person responsible for supplying and maintaining weapons, is set to go on trial this month on charges of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence.
Dave Halls, the film’s safety coordinator and assistant director who handed Baldwin the loaded gun, agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors and was sentenced to six months probation.
Filming of “Rust” was halted by the tragedy, but resumed last year.
The cinematographer’s widower, Matthew Hutchins, who has already settled a wrongful death suit with “Rust” producers, served as an executive producer on the project.
Court documents reveal that Baldwin, now released on personal recognizance, faces several stringent restrictions as part of the conditions for his release.
Notably, he must adhere to all local, state, and federal laws, refrain from possessing firearms or dangerous weapons, and abstain from consuming drugs or alcohol.
Baldwin if convicted under this new charge could face up to 18 months in prison.