Rust trial prosecutors will reportedly drop charges against Alec Baldwin [UPDATED]

Involuntary manslaughter charges against Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed are on the way out

Rust trial prosecutors will reportedly drop charges against Alec Baldwin [UPDATED]
Alec Baldwin Photo: John Lamparski

[Update 4/20 5:24 pm]: Charges against Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will also be dropped, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Original Story: In an unsurprising turn in the Rust tragedy that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead, special prosecutors will reportedly drop the charges against Alec Baldwin. The Emmy winner had previously been charged with involuntary manslaughter after a firearm held by Baldwin misfired and killed Hutchins. Baldwin faced an 18-month prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter, plus charges of enhancement for using a gun, which carries a five-year mandatory minimum. However, set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s charges have not been dropped.

Deadline writes that special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis are “expected to be filing paperwork soon, perhaps even today,” dismissing the charges “without prejudice.”

“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,” said Baldwin’s attorneys, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro.

While Baldwin’s celebrity made the actor a target for the prosecutors, legal experts never expected him to stand trial because he likely didn’t know a real bullet was in the gun. Moreover, there was simply no motive that would lead anyone to believe Baldwin would have fired that gun had known there was a bullet in the chamber, James J. Brosnahan, Senior Of Counsel at the law firm of Morrison Foerster, told The A.V. Club back in January. Brosnahan was retained as lead trial counsel for the defense in the case involving Brandon Lee, who was shot and killed by a gun fired by actor Michael Masse on the set of The Crow in 1993.

“Look at it from the defendant’s standpoint; he is a famous man and a movie actor of considerable talent and has been for years,” Brosnahan said. “Let’s assume that he would like to have more, more roles and things. The nature of the crime is that there’s no bank robbery here. The atmosphere of the case, and if his lawyer marshals the mood of the case, is this a terrible accident. That’s what I think. Things happen. I can almost hear the good defense lawyer arguing that you know, things happen in the world. Things happen. It doesn’t mean anybody is guilty of anything.”

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