SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Prosecutors in New Mexico plan to drop an involuntary manslaughter charge against Alec Baldwin in the fatal 2021 shooting of a cinematographer on the set of the Western film “Rust,” Baldwin’s attorneys said Thursday.
“We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and we encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident,” Baldwin’s attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro said in a statement.
Prosecutors didn’t immediately comment on the case. It wasn’t immediately clear whether charges could be refiled.
Baldwin and the film’s weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were both charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting.
Baldwin was pointing a pistol at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a rehearsal when the gun when off, killing Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.
Baldwin has said the gun went off accidentally and that he did not pull the trigger. An FBI forensic report found the weapon could not have fired unless the trigger was pulled.
The case against Baldwin had already been diminishing. A weapons charge that would have meant a much longer sentence had already been dismissed, and the first special prosecutor in the case resigned.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the charge against Gutierrez-Reed would also be dropped.
The charges against Baldwin had marked a stunning fall for an A-list actor whose 40-year career included the early blockbuster “The Hunt for Red October” and a starring role in the sitcom “30 Rock,” as well as iconic appearances in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” and a film adaptation of David Mamet’s “Glengary Glen Ross.” In recent years, he was known for his impression of former President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live.”
“Rust” safety coordinator and assistant director David Halls pleaded no contest in March to a conviction for unsafe handling of a firearm and a suspended sentence of six months of probation.
FILE – This aerial photo shows the movie set of “Rust” at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Prosecutors in New Mexico plan to drop an involuntary manslaughter charge against Alec Baldwin in the fatal 2021 shooting of a cinematographer on the set of the Western film “Rust.” Baldwin’s attorneys said in a statement Thursday that they are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)