Special prosecutors in New Mexico have announced their intention to recharge actor Alec Baldwin in the 2021 fatal shooting on the set of the film “Rust.” Baldwin, who was a coproducer of the film, was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a rehearsal when the gun discharged, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. Prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis stated that “additional facts” have come to light, leading them to believe that Baldwin has criminal culpability in the incident. They plan to present the evidence to a grand jury within the next two months.
Baldwin’s attorneys, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, responded to the announcement, stating that they will answer any charges in court and expressing their disappointment in the prosecution. Special prosecutors had initially dismissed an involuntary manslaughter charge against Baldwin in April, citing the possibility of a modified and malfunctioning gun. However, they reconsidered after receiving a new analysis of the weapon, which concluded that the trigger had to have been pulled or depressed.
The weapons supervisor on the movie set, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, has already pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering charges. Her trial is scheduled to begin in February. Another crew member, assistant director and safety coordinator David Halls, previously pleaded no contest to a conviction for unsafe handling of a firearm and received probation.
The 2021 shooting led to several civil lawsuits, with accusations of lax safety standards against the defendants, including Baldwin. The cases include wrongful death claims filed by Hutchins’ family. Baldwin and the other defendants have denied these accusations.