Alec Baldwin could face new charges for fatal shooting on the set of ‘Rust’

New Mexico prosecutors announced Tuesday that they would take the case involving Alec Baldwin to a grand jury, citing “additional facts” that have emerged in the investigation into the shooting death that occurred on the set of Oxide in 2021.

In a statement, special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis stated that they had uncovered new information during their extensive investigation over the past few months. They believe Alec Baldwin may have “criminal culpability” for the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and the injury of director Joel Souza. As a result, they decided to seek grand jury consideration of possible criminal charges against the actor.

The incident took place during preparation for a scene at a western ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot and Joel Souza was wounded when Baldwin’s .45 Colt revolver discharged. Baldwin has consistently maintained that he did not pull the trigger.

Generally @AlecBaldwin He’s a great actor, I just don’t buy his performance here.

“The moment Alec Baldwin found out he accidentally killed producer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust, after being given a loaded gun as a prop”

– 🌴Josh Lekach🌴 (@JoshLekach) October 12, 2023

Alec Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, responded to the decision, calling it “unfortunate” and emphasizing his intention to challenge the case in court. He said: “It is unfortunate that a terrible tragedy has turned into this wrong prosecution. “We will respond to any charges in court.”

Baldwin had initially been charged with involuntary manslaughter in January after more than a year of investigation, but the charges were dropped in April, just before a preliminary hearing. The decision to drop the charges was influenced by concerns raised by Baldwin’s defense attorneys about the functionality of the firearm used in the incident.

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forensic evidence

Special prosecutors later sent the gun for further forensic testing. They indicated that Baldwin could face new charges if it is determined that the weapon was functional.

In August, a report made public confirmed that the trigger needed to be pulled for the gun to fire.

Hannah Gutierrez, the film’s gunsmith, also faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence in connection with the case. Her trial is scheduled for February in Santa Fe and she could face up to three years in prison if she is convicted.

The case has faced a series of legal complications and errors. The initial charges included a five-year sentence enhancement for use of a firearm, but this enhancement was dropped when it was revealed that the law was not in effect at the time of the shooting.

The case had initially been handled by special prosecutor Andrea Reeb, who resigned after Baldwin’s defense team argued that she could not serve as a prosecutor and state legislator. Subsequently, Mary Carmack-Altwies, Santa Fe’s elected district attorney, withdrew from the case following a judge’s ruling that she could not partner with a special prosecutor.

unfortunate developments

Carmack-Altwies had previously cited a lack of staff in her office as a reason for seeking outside help. In another unfortunate development for the prosecution, an email written by DA investigator Robert Shilling criticized the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office for its handling of the investigation. This email was inadvertently sent to the defense.

Another setback came when the Colt .45 used in the incident was damaged during FBI testing in 2022, leading the defense to argue that the evidence had been compromised.

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The decision to present Alec Baldwin’s case to a grand jury marks a significant development in the ongoing investigation. It remains to be seen how the grand jury will respond and whether new charges will be filed against the actor.

Categories: Biography

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