New Evidence Has Alec Baldwin Recharged in Fatal Film Shooting

in Entertainment, Movies

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Credit: ITM

Film star Alec Baldwin has had an illustrious career in the film industry, working on cinematic successes such as Beetlejuice, The Departed, 30 Rock, and his Emmy-winning parody of Donald Trump. However, the veteran thespian’s career would take a tragic downturn in 2021 when his cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, was fatally shot during a scene for Baldwin’s Western called Rust. While Baldwin was initially cleared of manslaughter charges, prosecutors have claimed that new evidence has come to light that will criminally charge the renowned actor.

Match Game Alec Baldwin
Credit: ABC

New Mexico Prosecutors Jason Lewis and Kari Morrissey have stated they will bring fresh evidence to their case before the grand jury in the next two months. They have allegedly discovered “additional facts” about what occurred during the tragedy of the production of Rust that resulted in Hutchins’ death.

All the prosecutors have addressed so far has been, “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.” They continued, “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.”

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Credit: Jae C. Hong

The new evidence will specifically reveal who is criminally culpable during the grave rehearsal that took place on location inside a rustic Santa Fe chapel. Alec Baldwin was involved in a scene where he had to shoot in the direction of the camera as the perspective was supposed to be from his adversaries. The gun went off with a live round in the chamber instead of a blank. Director Joel Souza was seriously wounded, but the crew member filming the scene, Halyna Hutchins was killed by the shot.

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Credit: ITM

Since Baldwin was not only one of the stars, but also a co-producer of the film, it was expected by many critics, the media and legal professionals that the actor would be held responsible even if it was an accident. According to Baldwin, the pistol discharged when he drew back on the hammer but not the trigger.

Baldwin’s lawyers, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, expressed that this recent action taken by the prosecution has been erroneous. “It is unfortunate that a terrible tragedy has been turned into this misguided prosecution. We will answer any charges in court.”

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Credit: Rust Movie Productions

When Baldwin’s first involuntary manslaughter case was dropped in April 2023, special prosecutors claimed they had knowledge that the pistol may have been altered before to the incident and had malfunctioned. Later, after obtaining a fresh study of the firearm, prosecutors changed course and started debating whether to resubmit a case against Baldwin.

After some of the pistol’s components broke during a previous FBI test, the revolver shot by Baldwin was reassembled using new parts, according to a recent investigation by ballistics and forensic testing specialists located in Arizona and New Mexico. The analysis came to the conclusion that the trigger had to have been pulled or depressed after looking at the firearm and the marks it left on a spent cartridge. This conclusion completely contradicts Baldwin’s claim.

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Credit: Dateline

A previous FBI report on the agency’s investigation of the pistol concluded that if force was given to an uncocked hammer, such as by dropping the weapon, it may go off without pressing the trigger. The testers could only get it to fire by pushing the trigger or hitting the gun with a mallet with the hammer down and resting on the cartridge.

The main unsolved mystery is how live ammo made its way on set, much less entered the Italian-made .45-caliber revolver replica. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the weapons supervisor on Rust, was ultimately responsible for ensuring gun safety on set. She currently has entered a “not guilty” plea to the charges of ‘Involuntary Manslaughter’ and ‘Tampering with Evidence.’ The start of her trial is set for February 2024.

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Credit: Rust Movie Productions

David Halls, the safety coordinator and associate director of Rust has also entered a plea of “not guilty” to ‘Reckless Firearm Handling’ in March 2023. He was given a suspended sentence of six months probation. Yet, Halls has agreed to assist in the shooting investigation to uncover who is ultimately at fault. The next grand jury will “determine whether probable cause exists to bind Baldwin over on criminal charges,” according to special prosecutors in the newly resurrected case against Baldwin.

Following the incident in 2021, many legal lawsuits were filed, with the main thrust of the cases being the defendants’ alleged disregard for safety regulations. Members of Hutchins’ family have brought wrongful death claims in these cases as well. The claims that Baldwin and the other defendants were careless with safety precautions have been refuted.

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Credit: ITM

After a harsh account of safety lapses beyond industry norms—including evidence that production managers did little or nothing to address two misfires on the set prior to the deadly shooting—Rust Movie Productions has agreed to pay a $100,000 fine to state workplace safety regulators. Rust has since returned to production in Montana thanks to an arrangement with Matthew Hutchins, the widower of the cameraman, who has become an executive producer.

Do you think Alec Baldwin should be charged? Should he serve jail time?

in Entertainment, Movies

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