Alec Baldwin Pleads Not Guilty in Reinstated Rust Shooting Case

Alec Baldwin
Photograph: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Alec Baldwin, the Emmy-winning actor, has entered a plea of not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the tragic death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. This plea comes just weeks after a grand jury reinstated the accusation against him.

On January 31, Baldwin appeared in a Santa Fe court and submitted his plea, opting to waive his right to an arraignment, as confirmed by court records obtained by E! News. Notably, the 65-year-old actor was permitted to remain free without the need for collateral.

The incident in question occurred during a rehearsal on the Rust film set in October 2021 when Hutchins, aged 42, was fatally shot by a lead projectile discharged from a historic handgun being held by Baldwin.

Previously, in February 2023, Baldwin had entered a not-guilty plea to the charge of involuntary manslaughter. His defense argued that the prosecution had erred by charging him under a firearm enhancement statute that was not in effect at the time of the shooting. As a result, the charge was dismissed in April.

However, Baldwin now faces two distinct counts of involuntary manslaughter, both classified as felonies, according to a grand jury indictment dated January 19, which was obtained by E! News. One count pertains to “negligent use of a firearm,” while the other alleges that Baldwin caused Hutchins’s death “by an act committed with the total disregard or indifference for the safety of others.”

It is important to note that Baldwin can only be convicted on one of the counts, as stipulated in the indictment. If found guilty, he may potentially face a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison, according to NBC News.

Following the announcement of the charges, Baldwin’s attorneys, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, expressed their readiness to defend their client in court, telling E! News, “We look forward to our day in court.”

Director Joel Souza was also injured in the shooting, although Baldwin has consistently denied any involvement. In a December 2021 interview with ABC News, the 30 Rock alum asserted that he had not intentionally pulled the trigger, believing the firearm contained only blanks and not live ammunition.

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