Actor Alec Baldwin departs his home, as he will be charged with involuntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie “Rust”, in New York, U.S., January 31, 2023. REUTERS/David ‘Dee’ Delgado
(Reuters) -New Mexico prosecutors have decided to drop criminal charges against actor Alec Baldwin in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western movie “Rust” in 2021, Baldwin’s lawyers said on Thursday.
Baldwin, 65, was charged in January with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with Hutchins’ death and the injury of “Rust” director Joel Souza, who was also shot.
The actor was accused of showing a “reckless” disregard for safety in Hutchins’ death. He pleaded not guilty in February after prosecutors downgraded the seriousness of the charges, reducing the potential prison time.
“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,” Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, the attorneys for Alec Baldwin, said in a statement.
A spokesperson for prosecutors in New Mexico’s First Judicial District, where the charges were filed, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The first assistant director on the set, Dave Halls, was sentenced last month to a suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon. Prosecutors had said he was responsible for set safety.
The movie’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, also faces manslaughter charges and has pleaded not guilty.