Alec Baldwin Pleads Not Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter Charges in “Rust” Movie Shooting Case
Actor Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges relating to the fatal shooting on the set of his movie “Rust” in 2021. On Thursday, Baldwin waived his first court appearance and entered his plea. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison if convicted.
The amended complaint was filed late Friday, and prosecutors officially dropped the firearm enhancement that could have landed Baldwin more than five years in prison if convicted. The charge was also dropped against the film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who faces the same involuntary manslaughter charge as Baldwin.
Baldwin's attorneys argued that the firearms enhancement they had tried to attach to the case against the actor was not applicable, as it was not in effect in state law at the time of the fatal on-set shooting in October 2021, leading to the decision.
Good legal practice dictates that the District Attorney and special prosecutor review all motions, including those made public before being served to the DA. The DA and special prosecutor's priority, however, is always to ensure justice is served and that all parties, including those with celebrity status and affluent legal representation, face accountability under the law.
Regarding the “Rust” case, Baldwin's connection with possible witnesses is also restricted, and he is forbidden to talk about the situation with them. The documents state that he is only permitted to contact them regarding related or unrelated business matters in regards to the completion of the movie.
Emails have revealed that a New Mexico prosecutor fully acknowledged that it was completely wrong to add a gun enhancement charge to Alec Baldwin's case, which could have resulted in a five-year prison sentence due to the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie “Rust”.
As part of the conditions imposed by Judge Sommer today, Baldwin is not to hold a gun, drink or speak with potential or probable witnesses in the criminal case unless it is in “connection with completing the Rust movie and other related and unrelated business matters.”
Baldwin was due to appear virtually before a judge on Friday but the hearing has now been canceled. His legal team has also requested the special prosecutor be removed from the case.
Production of “Rust” is scheduled to recommence in spring 2023 at Yellowstone Film Ranch in Montana.
0. “Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty to all charges in ‘Rust' case” CNN, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/23/entertainment/alec-baldwin-not-guilty-plea/index.html
1. “Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in fatal “Rust” shooting of Halyna Hutchins” CBS News, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/alec-baldwin-pleads-not-guilty-rust-shooting/
2. “Alec Baldwin: Rust shooting charges downgraded by US prosecutors” The Guardian US, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/feb/20/alec-baldwin-rust-film-shooting-new-mexico-prosecutors
3. “Charge against Alec Baldwin in ‘Rust' shooting is downgraded” NPR, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/02/20/1158370706/alec-baldwin-rust-shooting-charge-downgraded
4. “DA drops gun enhancement charge against Alec Baldwin in ‘Rust' shooting” ABC News, 20 Feb. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/US/da-drops-gun-enhancement-charge-alec-baldwin-rust/story?id=97337067
5. “Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty in fatal ‘Rust' shooting” FOX 2 Detroit, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/alec-baldwin-pleads-not-guilty-fatal-rust-shooting
6. “Emails show the prosecutor in the ‘Rust' shooting privately admitted it was ‘100 percent' wrong to upgrade charges …” Yahoo News, 22 Feb. 2023, https://news.yahoo.com/emails-show-prosecutor-rust-shooting-212847635.html
7. “Alec Baldwin Pleads Not Guilty To Fatal ‘Rust’ Shooting; First Hearing In Criminal Case Axed” Deadline, 23 Feb. 2023, https://deadline.com/2023/02/alec-baldwin-not-guilty-plea-fatal-rust-shooting-haylna-hutchins-1235269092/
8. “Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter as he waives first appearance” Daily Mail, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11786251/Alec-Baldwin-pleads-not-guilty-involuntary-manslaughter-waives-appearance.html
9. “Alec Baldwin enters not guilty plea over Halyna Hutchins death” BBC, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-64752583