Alec Baldwin Pleads Not Guilty in ‘Rust’ Shooting
Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection to the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film Rust in 2021.
Baldwin entered his plea on Thursday, waiving his right to a first appearance in court, according to documents obtained by Rolling Stone. The actor remains free without having to post a bond.
He faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted of the involuntary manslaughter charge. Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who supplied the weapons on the set of the independent film, was also charged with involuntary manslaughter. On Friday, Feb. 24, she also pleaded not guilty.
According to The Associated Press, Gutierrez-Reed’s appearance included a back-and-forth over whether she should be allowed to keep a gun in her home as part of the conditions of her release. Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer said she’d received numerous theats and had to file for a restraining order against a stalker. Her lawyer also said the court failed to properly redact some of Gutierrez-Reed’s personal information (like her phone number) when releasing court documents related to the ongoing case.
In turn, the DA objected to the gun request because of Gutierrez-Reed’s “sloppy mishandling of firearms and guns” on the Rust set. Ultimately, however, the judge ruled that Gutierrez-Reed could keep a gun at home for self defense. He also ordered that she not have any contact with witnesses who might testify during the case.
Earlier this week, New Mexico prosecutors dropped a firearm enhancement charge that could have added five years to each sentence. Attorneys for both Baldwin and Guttierez-Reed had argued that they had been incorrectly charged with manslaughter under a New Mexico firearm law that had actually been passed months after the shooting took place. A lawyer for Gutierrez-Reed told the New York Times that the updated charges “reflected good ethical standards and was correct on the facts and law.”
In a statement to the New York Times, Heather Brewer, a representative for the district attorney, said it had downgraded the charges to “avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys.”
Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was wounded during a rehearsal on the set of Rust on Oct. 21, 2021. The incident occurred when Baldwin inadvertently discharged a prop gun that had been loaded with a live round, believing the prop had been “cold.” There have been numerous investigations into the incident by various government agencies, from the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office to the FBI.
The shooting has prompted several civil lawsuits (as well as some fines). Most notably, Hutchins’ family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin, Rust producer Ryan Donnell Smith, Gutierrez-Reed, assistant director Dave Halls, prop master Sarah Zachary, and “armorer mentor” Seth Kenney.
This story was updated 2/24/23 @ 2:24 p.m. ET with Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s plea.
Sebastian Bear-McClard, Emily Ratajkowski's Ex, Accused of Sexual Misconduct
- Misconduct Allegations