In a sudden turn of events, the New Mexico Prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against actor Alec Baldwin in connection with the fatal shooting that took place on the set of the film "Rust" in 2021. Baldwin was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter after the incident that resulted in the death of cameraman Halyna Hutchins.
In a statement made on Wednesday morning, Matthew Hutchins, the surviving family member of Halyna Hutchins, announced that a settlement had been reached between the family and the producers of "Rust," including Alec Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions, LLC.
As part of the agreement, the wrongful death case will be dismissed, pending court approval. "I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin). 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,” said Hutchins. The production of "Rust" is set to resume in January 2023, with all original cast members, including Baldwin, returning to the set.
Statement from the Parties Involved
The resolution of the matter was met with gratefulness from all parties involved. Melina Spadone, the attorney for Rust Movie Productions, LLC, stated, “We are pleased the parties came together to resolve this matter, which, subject to court approval, marks an important step forward in celebrating Halyna’s life and honoring her work”.
Baldwin's attorney, Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, added, “Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation”.
The Santa Fe District Attorney's office declined to comment on the matter. Baldwin's next court appearance, which was scheduled for May 3, has been waived, and the actor has already pleaded not guilty to the charges in the court filing.
Gutierrez-Reed's Hearing Scheduled
The film's gunman, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who is also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in Hutchins' death, is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on May 3.
Gutierrez-Reed's attorney stated that she intends to plead not guilty and is unaware of how the real bullets ended up in the gun used on the set. In related news, the first assistant director, David Halls, was sentenced last month to six months of unsupervised probation as part of a plea deal. Halls, who handed a Colt.45 revolver to Baldwin before the shooting, was charged with negligent use of a deadly weapon.