Alec Baldwin to hear charges after manslaughter claim refiled over movie shooting

US News

Alec Baldwin will be arraigned on Thursday after he was again charged with involuntary manslaughter over the shooting of a cinematographer.

Halyna Hutchins died in October 2021 when the star shot her during an on-set rehearsal for Western movie Rust.

The movie’s director, Joel Souza, was wounded in the shoulder by the same bullet.

The 65-year-old actor has insisted he pulled back the hammer but didn’t pull the trigger.

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All charges were dropped last year based on evidence the hammer might have been modified, allowing it to be shot without pressing the trigger.

However, a new examination cast doubt on this theory.

Forensic tests said Baldwin would have needed to pull the trigger to fire the live round, matching a previous FBI test, and fresh charges were filed last week.

The actor responded by demanding a “speedy trial” and his lawyers said they “look forward to our day in court”.

Halyna Hutchins pictured in 2017 at an Artists for Peace and Justice party, 70th Cannes Film Festival, France
Hutchins died during a rehearsal on set. Pic: Rex Features

The arraignment – the formal reading of charges with the defendant present – will be held virtually, said a spokesman for New Mexico’s court system.

Rust’s chief weapons supervisor, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering, with her trial scheduled for February.

There have been claims that safety standards on set were lax, though Baldwin and other defendants have disputed it.

Baldwin on set after an involuntary manslaughter charge against him was dropped
Baldwin was back filming the movie last year after the charge was dropped

According to a police report, assistant director David Halls, who handed the gun to Baldwin, told him it was “cold” – meaning it did not contain live ammunition or blank rounds.

Halls said he was unaware it was loaded and last year did a plea deal for a six-month suspended sentence, a $500 fine, 24 hours’ community safety and a gun safety class.

Filming resumed last year in Montana – with Baldwin reprising his role as the main character – after an agreement with Hutchins’ widower made him an executive producer.

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