OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:55 PM – Friday, January 19, 2024
In an effort to prosecute Alec Baldwin once more for the on-set murder of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, the actor has been indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter.
In January 2023, Baldwin, 65, was first accused in this case. However, three months later, the charges were withdrawn due to concerns raised by Baldwin’s defense team over the accuracy of his Colt. 45’s discharge.
The pistol went off in October 2021 when Hutchins was getting ready to film a scene with Baldwin at a ranch close to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Baldwin has consistently claimed that the trigger was not pulled by him.
Baldwin now faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted.
“We look forward to our day in court,” said Baldwin attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro in a Friday statement.
The pistol was later submitted for a more thorough forensic examination last summer by two special prosecutors, Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis.
After reconstructing the gun, which had been damaged during FBI testing, its specialists Lucien and Michael Haag came to the conclusion that it could only have been shot by pulling the trigger, rather than an accidental firing like what Baldwin has claimed.
“This fatal incident was the consequence of the hammer being manually retracted to its fully rearward and cocked position followed, at some point, by the pull or rearward depression of the trigger,” the report concluded. “Although Alec Baldwin repeatedly denies pulling the trigger, given the tests, findings and observations reported here, the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver.”
In October, Morrissey and Lewis said that they planned to present the case to a grand jury in two months, asserting that “additional facts” had surfaced that implicated Baldwin.
Nikas called the ruling “unfortunate” at the time.
“It is unfortunate that a terrible tragedy has been turned into this misguided prosecution,” Nikas said. “We will answer any charges in court.”
On February 21st, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer who worked on the set of the movie, will also stand trial for the crimes of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence.
Baldwin’s gun was supposed to only hold dummy rounds, but Gutierrez Reed inadvertently placed a live round into it. How live ammunition got mixed together with fake ammunition on the set is still a mystery.
Shortly after the incident, Hutchins’ widower, Matthew Hutchins, launched a wrongful death claim, however, he settled in October 2022. The couple’s son, who was 9-years-old at the time of his mother’s death, was meant to benefit from the settlement, which included insurance money and a percentage of the movie’s earnings.
Matthew Hutchins stated that he did not hold Baldwin directly responsible for the shooting at the time of the settlement.
“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” Hutchins said. “All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”
Baldwin was fully blamed by the first prosecutors, Mary Carmack-Altwies and Andrea Reeb, for both pulling the trigger and a string of managerial errors that resulted in inadequate safety regulations on set.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s division in New Mexico, however, came to the conclusion that Baldwin, despite serving as the movie’s producer, lacked managerial responsibility and was thus not responsible for the oversight.
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