Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Alec Baldwin Pleads Not Guilty to ‘Rust’ Manslaughter Charge

While filming his movie Rust on Thursday, October 21, 2021, Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that injured the film’s director, Joel Souza, and director of photography, Halyna Hutchins.

The incident occurred at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico. According to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department, the weapon was “discharged” by the 30 Rock alum and Deadline later reported that production on the Western was paused.

Souza and Hutchins were rushed to receive medical attention after being struck. Hutchins was pronounced dead at University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. Deadline later reported that Souza was released from the hospital the day after the shooting.

“Mr. Baldwin came in voluntarily to speak with investigators,” sheriff’s office spokesman Juan Ríos noted in a statement, asserting that the situation would be treated like “any other investigation.”

Baldwin broke his silence on Hutchins’ death one day after the shooting via X (formerly known as Twitter). “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,” he wrote. “I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”

Scroll down for the latest updates on the Rust shooting:

Who Is Halyna Hutchins?
Ukraine native Hutchins was working as director of photography on Rust and was named one of American Cinematography’s “rising stars” in the profession in 2019. She previously contributed to 2019’s Darlin’ and 2020’s Blindfire, as well as AMC’s The Walking Dead. She was pronounced dead on Thursday at University of New Mexico Hospital.
While working on Rust, Hutchins often shared updates about the filming process with her Instagram followers. “One of the perks of shooting a western is you get to ride horses on your day off:),” she captioned a video of herself on Wednesday, October 20, as she joined a group on horseback.
James Gourley/Variety/Shutterstock
Who Is Joel Souza?
Souza is a California-based writer and director whose previous credits include 2015’s Ghost Squad, 2017’s Break Night and 2019’s Crown Vic. According to Deadline, he was released from the hospital early Friday morning after sustaining injuries on set.
Ron Adar/SOPA Images/Shutterstock
Were There Charges?
As of Thursday, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office was in the midst of an “open and active” investigation, but no arrests were made. Baldwin was questioned by investigators — as were other members of the crew — but no charges were filed.
Andrew H. Walker/Shutterstock
How Did Two People Get Shot?
Only one round was discharged, and it grazed Souza but hit Hutchins in her shoulder, per The Los Angeles Times.
Andres Leighton/AP/Shutterstock
The Production Company Speaks Out
Rust Movie Productions LLC, noted in a statement regarding the accident, “The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones. We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation. We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event.”
Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic
Why Was the Gun Loaded?
That is the question investigators are still trying to answer. The assistant director called out “cold gun” when handing Baldwin the weapon, the AD wrote in an affidavit, according to the New York Times. “Cold” means no ammunition is in the gun. The crew member “did not know live rounds were in the prop gun,” Detective Joel Cano declared in an affidavit.
Jae C Hong/AP/Shutterstock
Why Did Crew Members Walk Off Set Earlier That Day?
The LA Times reports that several crew members walked off set to protest working conditions hours ahead of the fatal accident. They accused the production of not properly following safety protocols, including gun inspections. The workers claimed that there were two accidental gun discharges on set before, with Baldwin’s stunt double allegedly firing a gun that was announced as “cold” only to find a live round in it.
“There should have been an investigation into what happened,” a crew member alleged to the LA Times. “There were no safety meetings. There was no assurance that it wouldn’t happen again. All they wanted to do was rush, rush, rush.”
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
How Are Other Sets Reacting?
Many film and TV sets are taking action and vowing not to risk having “hot” or “live” — meaning loaded — weapons on set. ABC’s police drama The Rookie has officially banned live rounds. “As of today, it is now policy on The Rookie that all gunfire on set will be with Air Soft guns with CG muzzle flashes added in post,” showrunner Alexi Hawley wrote in a memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter on Friday, October 22. “There will be no more ‘live’ weapons on the show. The safety of our cast and crew is too important.”
Amazon Prime’s The Boys, which is known for its violent action sequences, will also forgo live rounds. Showrunner Eric Kripke, who worked with Rust cast member Jensen Ackles on Supernatural and The Boys, announced the news on Friday via Twitter. “In [Hutchins’] memory, a simple, easy pledge: no more guns with blanks on any of my sets ever. We’ll use VFX muzzle flashes. Who’s with me?” he wrote.
Eric McCandless/ABC/Kobal/Shutterstock
Has It Happened Before?
This is not the first time a prop gun has led to fatalities on a film set. In 1993, the late Brandon Lee was killed during filming for The Crow after an improperly loaded prop gun was fired. His sister, Shannon Lee, reacted to the Rust incident on Thursday.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on ‘Rust,'” she tweeted via a memorial account set up for her brother. “No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.”
Joel Souza Reacts
“I am gutted by the loss of my friend and colleague, Halyna,” Souza said in a statement. “She was kind, vibrant, incredibly talented, fought for every inch and always pushed me to be better. My thoughts are with her family at this most difficult time. I am humbled and grateful by the outpouring of affection we have received from our filmmaking community, the people of Santa Fe, and the hundreds of strangers who have reached out. It will surely aid in my recovery.”
Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/Shutterstock
Were There Consequences?
According to Deadline, assistant director David Halls, who handed Baldwin a prop gun moments before it was discharged, was “removed from set immediately” after the accident. Producers told the outlet that an incident report was filed and a new assistant director was brought in.
Andres Leighton/AP/Shutterstock
The ‘Last Photo’ of Halyna Hutchins
On October 22, a Rust crewmember named Serge Svetnoy shared a photo of Hutchins that he claimed was taken shortly before the fatal shooting. “This is the last photo with Halyna on set,” he wrote via Facebook.
The snapshot showed the cinematographer shooting a scene with Baldwin in a small church on the New Mexico set.
Two days later, Svetnoy shared an emotional post in which he revealed that he “was holding [Hutchins] in my arms while she was dying. Her blood was on my hands,” he wrote via Facebook on October 24.
In that same message, the electrician stated that, in his opinion, Hutchins’ death was “the fault of negligence and unprofessionalism.”
Courtesy of Halyna Hutchins/Instagram
Evidence Recovered
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza confirmed during a press conference on October 27 that a lead bullet was recovered from Souza’s shoulder after he was taken to the hospital. The bullet is believed to be the one that fatally struck Hutchins. 
Police also collected approximately 600 items of evidence, including 500 rounds of ammunition from the set, which were a mixture of “blanks, dummy rounds and what we are suspecting were live rounds,” according to Mendoza.
More Information on Crew Member Who Handled Firearms
Hannah Gutierrez Reed was the armorer — or person in charge of firearms — on the set of Rust. During a September episode of the “Voices of West” podcast, the former model admitted “the best part” of her job was “just showing people who are normally kind of freaked out by guns how safe they can be and how they’re not really problematic unless put in the wrong hands.”
Reed is the daughter of longtime armorer Thell Reed, who was Brad Pitt’s shooting coach on the 2007 film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. However, the 24-year-old had only worked on one movie before landing the role of head armorer on Baldwin’s western.
The Hollywood rookie noted she had “figured” out most of the job’s requirements on “my own” and said that “loading blanks” is the “scariest thing to me.”
Jae C Hong/AP/Shutterstock
The Armorer Says She ‘Has No Idea’ Why Live Rounds Were in the Gun
Gutierrez Reed’s lawyers, Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence, released a statement to Us on October 29. “First Hannah would like to extend her deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Halyna,” the statement read, referring to Hutchins as “an inspirational woman in film who Hannah looked up to.”
The statement went on to allege that she had been “slandered” in the aftermath of the shooting.
“Safety is Hannah’s number one priority on set. Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced,” the lawyers claimed on her behalf. “Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from. Hannah and the prop master gained control over the guns and she never witnessed anyone shoot live rounds with these guns and nor would she permit that. They were locked up every night and at lunch and there’s no way a single one of them was unaccounted for or being shot by crew members. Hannah still, to this day, has never had an accidental discharge.”
Though there have been reports that there were two accidental discharges in other situations on set, Gutierrez Reed’s lawyers allege that others were at fault. “The first one on this set was the prop master and the second was a stunt man after Hannah informed him his gun was hot with blanks,” they alleged.
Myung J Chun/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock
The Armorer Wanted More Time to Prepare
Gutierrez Reed’s lawyers suggested that the blame for the fatal accident lay with other filmmakers. “Hannah was hired on two positions on this film, which made it extremely difficult to focus on her job as an armorer,” they said in the October 29 statement. “She fought for training, days to maintain weapons, and proper time to prepare for gunfire but ultimately was overruled by production and her department. The whole production set became unsafe due to various factors, including lack of safety meetings. This was not the fault of Hannah.”
Andres Leighton/AP/Shutterstock
Baldwin Says Hutchins Was a Friend
While in Vermont on October 30, Baldwin told news outlets that he couldn’t say much about the incident, but he is cooperating with authorities and mourning the death of Hutchins.
“I’ve been ordered by the sheriff’s department in Santa Fe, I can’t answer any questions about the investigation,” Baldwin said. “I can’t — it’s an active investigation in terms of a woman died. She was my friend.”
Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/Shutterstock
Baldwin Is Talking to Hutchins’ Family
The actor, who also produced the film, explained that he met with Hutchins’ husband as well as her son to offer support.
“The guy is overwhelmed with grief,” Baldwin said on October 30. “There are incidental accidents on film sets from time to time but nothing like this. This is a one in a trillion event, and so he is in shock [and] has a 9-year-old son. We are in constant contact with him. We’re very worried about his family and his kid, and we’re eagerly awaiting for the sheriff’s department telling us what their investigation has yielded.”
Andres Leighton/AP/Shutterstock
Assistant Director Breaks His Silence
Dave Halls, the assistant director on Rust, released a statement in which he praised his “friend” Hutchins. “I’m shocked and saddened by her death,” he said. “It’s my hope that this tragedy prompts the industry to reevaluate its values and practices to ensure no one is harmed through the creative process again.”
He continued, “My thoughts are with all who knew and loved Halyna.”
Halls did not address the details of the incident or the reports that he was the one who handed Baldwin the gun involved in the shooting.
Jae C Hong/AP/Shutterstock
Correcting the Narrative?
Baldwin reposted a thread from Terese Magpale Davis, who worked on Rust as a costume designer, outlining what they allege really happened on set. Davis’ post, which the actor shared via his Instagram account on November 2, claimed “the story being spun of us being overworked and surrounded by unsafe, chaotic conditions is bulls—t.”
Davis stated that she “never worked more than a 12.5-hour shoot day,” saying that only happened once and “most days” were under the 12-hour mark. She recalled the day that Hutchins died, saying, “We had come off a 12-hour turnaround after an 11-hour shoot day,” noting they had a “56-hour weekend right before” the prolonged day. “No one was too tired to do their jobs,” she said.
She refuted claims that the producers on the film didn’t care about their crew, writing, “They were some of the most approachable and warm producers I’ve ever worked with.” Davis explained that “concerns were heard and addressed” by the producers. According to her, the crew had a union rep who told production “not to give in to the camera crew” demands because they were asking for things that “the union does not require.”
Davis alleged that she has spoken with the producers on the project since the accident, and they told her they have chosen not to defend themselves against the “blatantly false accusations” because they want the “focus to be on Halyna” and they want to “grieve and recover.”
Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/Shutterstock
Legal Representation
Matthew Hutchins, the husband of the late cinematographer, has retained California-based law firm Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi, according to Deadline. The firm specializes in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
Police Protection?
“Every film/TV set that uses guns, fake or otherwise, should have a police officer on set, hired by the production, to specifically monitor weapons safety,” Baldwin tweeted on November 8. The actor, who has now made his Twitter profile private, also shared a screenshot of the tweet via his Instagram page.
Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock
Halyna Hutchins Was Laid to Rest
More than a month after the tragedy, Halyna has been laid to rest. Her husband, Matthew, confirmed that a funeral was held on the weekend of Saturday, November 20, ET reports. Matthew revealed that Hutchins’ grave marker has her name followed by ASC, indicating her association with The American Society of Cinematographers.
The late mother’s headstone also features images of a camera and film reel, emphasizing her passion for moviemaking. Underneath her years of birth and death is an inspirational quote: “Her light shapes our lives. Keep chasing your vision.”
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
First Interview
The It’s Complicated actor sat down for an in-depth interview with ABC News more than one month after the tragedy, opening up about the aftermath of the shooting. In a clip from the December 2021 special, Baldwin cried while reflecting on what went wrong on set.
“The trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger,” he said. “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never. I have no idea [how a bullet got in there]. Someone put a live bullet in a gun. A bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property.”
Baldwin went on to say the incident was the “worst thing” that’s ever happened to him, explaining, “Because I think back and I think, ‘What could I have done?'”
The Aftermath
Baldwin confessed during his first sit-down interview about the incident that he didn’t feel guilty, revealing, “I might have killed myself if I felt that I was responsible. I don’t say that lightly.”
He continued to deny pulling the trigger, asserting that he was simply following Hutchins’ directions on set. “I’ve been told by people who are in the know, in terms of even inside the state, that it’s highly unlikely that I would be charged with anything criminally,” he added.
ABC News
The Letter
Baldwin shared a two-page letter via Instagram in December 2021 that was written by the Rust crew, which defended the film’s production. The writers of the note clarified that the note had “not been sanctioned or influenced in any way by the producers,” but was intended to “express a more accurate account” of their “workplace tragedy.” The letter stated that Hutchins was the “heart of the production” and “losing her hurt every single one of us.” “We are hurting from the loss of our togetherness, our spirit, and the loss of our labor,” the message continued. “We are hurting for our friends that have been targeted by the public as they themselves grieve.” While those who worked on the film said the production had its challenges, “the descriptions of Rust as a chaotic, dangerous, and exploitative workplace are false and distract from what matters the most: the memory of Halyna Hutchins, and the need to find modern alternatives to outdated industry firearm and safety practices.”
The Investigation Continues
Police sought a warrant to obtain the Boss Baby actor’s cell phone in December 2021, according to Deadline, requesting the device to determine whether there might be “any evidence relating to the death investigation of Halyna Hutchins.” A judge signed off on the paperwork, which stated, “Such information, if it exists, may be material and relevant to this investigation.”
At the time, Baldwin’s lawyer noted, “We are confident that the evidence will show that Mr. Baldwin is not responsible civilly or criminally for what occurred on October 21, and he continues to cooperate with authorities.”
John Sheene/Ace Pictures/Shutterstock
Calling Out ‘Lies’
As more details continued to emerge, Baldwin denied a report claiming he asked for a larger prop weapon on the movie set. “This, in fact is a lie,” he tweeted in December 2021. “The choices regarding any props by me for the film RUST were made weeks before production began. To suggest that any changes were made ‘before fatal shooting’ is false.”
Gregory Pace/Shutterstock
Alec’s Christmas Message
Baldwin took to Instagram on Christmas Eve to thank “all the people who sent me such kind words and best wishes and strength and hope and prayers, thoughts and lots of encouragement.”
He said in the December 24 video, ”I got hundreds, hundreds of emails from friends, family and colleagues and people I haven’t heard from in quite a while to send me strength and good wishes and so forth. I’m really grateful to them.”
The actor then referenced the tragedy. “I’m looking forward to some aspects of this being behind me, of course. For everyone who is involved in this, it’ll never be behind us because someone died so tragically,” he said. “I only care about my wife and my kids and moving forward with my life and trying to get through a tough time, a really tough time. Whatever holiday you’re celebrating, happy holidays to everybody. I hope that you’re as lucky as I am in one department, that you’re home with your family; I’m home with my family.”
Courtesy of Alec Baldwin/Instagram
The Hutchins Family’s Lawsuit
In February 2022, lawyers filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her husband and son. The suit named Baldwin as a defendant along with seven producers and numerous crew members. “[Matthew] lost his long-term wife who was the love of his life, and his son lost a mother,” an attorney for the family said during a press conference announcing the suit. “It never should have happened.”
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Back to Work?
Baldwin attempted to arrange a settlement with Matthew Hutchins after the death of his wife on the set that would have allowed production to complete the film after the incident. Variety confirmed in March 2022 that Baldwin’s efforts were noted in an arbitration filing, asking the movie’s producers to assume liability for the incident and pay his defense costs.
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
The Financial Ramifications
Rust Movie Productions LLC was fined over $136,000 by New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau in April 2022, after safety officials claimed in a statement that the production company showed “plain indifference to the recognized hazards associated with the use of firearms on set that resulted in a fatality, severe injury, and unsafe working conditions.”
Environment Cabinet Secretary James Kenney released a separate statement after announcing the fine.
“The investigation found that this tragic incident never would have happened if Rust Movie Productions, LLC has followed national film industry standards for firearm safety,” he explained. “This is a complete failure of the employer to follow recognized national protocols that keep employees safe.”
The bureau confirmed that the “Willful-Serious” citation — and $136,793 fine — is the maximum permitted under New Mexico law.
For their part, Rust Movie Productions LLC plans to appeal the penalty.
“While we appreciate OSHA’s time and effort in its investigation,” the company told CBS in an official statement, “we disagree with its findings and plan to appeal. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Halyna’s family.”
Gregory Pace/Shutterstock
Video From the Day
In April 2022, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department released all files related to the investigation of the shooting. One video showed Baldwin in the moments after he found out that Halyna died from her injuries. “No!” he exclaims before covering his mouth with his hand, seemingly in shock. Additional footage shows him practicing with the prop weapon in the moments before Halyna and Souza were shot.  
What Did the FBI Forensic Report of the Gun Find?
Baldwin has stated that he believes he did not pull the trigger. However, an FBI forensic report obtained by ABC News in August 2022 reportedly stated that the gun Baldwin was using was evaluated in various positions.
With the hammer at various angles — including quarter-, half- and fully cocked positions — the gun “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional,” the report stated.
With the hammer de-cocked on a loaded chamber, the gun was able to detonate a primer “without a pull of the trigger when the hammer was struck directly,” which is normal for a Pietta .45 Colt type of revolver, the report stated.
In a bullet, the primer is the small explosive charge that ignites the propellant, which creates the chemical reaction that pushes the bullet core out.
How Could the Gun Be Fired If Baldwin Didn’t Pull the Trigger?
In an August 16 interview with Chris Cuomo, Baldwin doubled down on his stance that he did not pull the trigger.
“This did not come from me, this came from the D.A.’s Office themselves,” the actor began. “You’re familiar with what fanning a gun is? Have you heard of that phrase, ‘fanning the gun’? So, if you pull the hammer back, and you don’t lock the hammer … if you pull the hammer back pretty far — in old Western movies you’d see someone fan the hammer of the gun — the hammer didn’t lock; you pulled it back to an extent where it would fire the bullet without you pulling the trigger, without you locking the hammer.”
He further emphasized: “The person who was the principal safety officer of the film declared, in front of the entire assemblage, ‘This is a cold gun.'”
New Mexico District Attorney Considers Criminal Charges
Santa Fe Dist. Atty. Mary Carmack-Altwies is considering charging four people involved in the Rust shooting with involuntary manslaughter and gun violations, the L.A. Times reported in September 2022. “During the filming of [Rust], Alec Baldwin shot and killed Halyna Hutchins and injured Joel Souza while rehearsing a scene,” she wrote in a letter to the state finance board, which was obtained by the outlet. “Many individuals had handled the gun that ultimately killed Hutchins and injured Souza.” If charged, Baldwin could face up to 18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
Wrongful Death Suit Settled
In October 2022, an undisclosed settlement was reached in a wrongful death suit filed against Baldwin and others by Hutchins’ family.
“We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, for our wrongful death case against the producers of Rust, including Alec Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions, LLC. As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed,” Hutchins’ widower, Matthew Hutchins, said in a statement to multiple outlets. He added that he had “no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin).
Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, reacted to the settlement in a statement. “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,” he said.
Production of Rust is set to resume in January 2023. Matthew will serve as an executive producer and receive a portion of the profits. 
Larry Marano/Shutterstock
Baldwin Shares Photo of Hutchins on 1-Year Anniversary of Her Death
“One year ago today…,” the actor captioned a photo via Instagram in October 2022 of the late cinematographer working with a camera.
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The Charges
Prosecutors announced in January 2023 that Baldwin and film armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will each be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the fatal Rust shooting.
“After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the ‘Rust’ film crew,” New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a statement to NBC News. “On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
Officially Charged
Less than two weeks after Carmack-Altwies announced that there was “sufficient evidence” against the Blue Jasmine actor, Baldwin was formally charged with involuntary manslaughter, along with Gutierrez-Reed.
“Today we have taken another important step in securing justice for Halyna Hutchins,” the First Judicial District Attorney said in a January 2023 statement. “In New Mexico, no one is above the law and justice will be served.”
If convicted, Baldwin could face up to five years in prison.
Janet Mayer/ Images ; Santa Fe County Sheriff / MEGA
Baldwin Fights Back
In February 2023, Baldwin asked the court to remove Andrea Reeb as the special prosecutor on his case because of her position in New Mexico House of Representatives. In court documents obtained by Entertainment Tonight, the actor’s lawyers argued that Reeb cannot be both a state lawmaker and a special prosecutor because of the state constitution’s separation of powers provision.
“Doing so vests two core powers of different branches — legislating and prosecuting — in the same person, and is thus barred by the plain language of Article III of the New Mexico Constitution,” the motion argues before outlining what could allegedly happen in the future if Reeb is allowed to continue as the prosecutor. “Future District Attorneys could seek to curry favor with legislators who control their budgets by appointing them to high-profile cases. … At the same time, allowing a single person to exercise both legislative and prosecutorial power could taint prosecutorial decision-making.”
Patrick Lewis/Starpix/Shutterstock
Who Are Halyna Hutchins Parent’s Suing?
Hutchins’ parents, Anatolii Androsovych and Olga Solovey, and sister Svetlana Zemko, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on February 8, 2023, against Baldwin, assistant director David Halls, armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and Rust Movie Productions, LLC, according to NBC News.  
The allegations against the defendants included battery, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and loss of consortium. Attorney Gloria Allred described the lawsuit as a “claim which seeks to recover compensation for damages to certain relationships that are mutually dependent.” 
The filing accused Baldwin of playing “Russian roulette with a loaded gun without checking it and without having the Armorer do so,” per NBC News. It also claimed that protocols on set were “ignored” and “actions that were taken were against all industry norms.”
Andrew H. Walker/Shutterstock
Filming to Resume
Rust Movie Productions announced in February 2023 that Halyna’s husband, Matthew, will join as an executive producer. A mix of new and old crewmembers will work on the film, and Bianca Cline will replace the late cinematographer. Cline will donate her salary to charity in Hutchins’ name. No working weapons or ammunition will be allowed on set.Rust Movie Productions announced in February 2023 that Halyna’s husband, Matthew, will join as an executive producer. A mix of new and old crewmembers will work on the film, and Bianca Cline will replace the late cinematographer. Cline will donate her salary to charity in Hutchins’ name. No working weapons or ammunition will be allowed on set.
A Potential Reduced Sentence
The firearms enhancement charge against Baldwin was dropped by prosecutors in February 2023, which would have added five years to a possible prison sentence for the actor. The same charge was also dropped for the film’s armorer. However, Baldwin is still being charged with involuntary manslaughter which could have him behind bars for 18 months if he is convicted.
Alberto Reyes/Shutterstock
When Does ‘Rust’ Resume Filming?
Producers announced in February 2023 that Rust would resume production the following spring at the Yellowstone Film Ranch in Montana. “The dedication and passion of the entire Rust production team to honor Halyna’s vision has deeply moved us,” a statement read at the time, per Variety. “We’ve learned so much about Halyna as a friend and colleague, the depth of her artistry and the lasting impact she had on so many. We are honored to play a role in the realization of her vision and to carry forward her inspiring legacy through championing this film.”
How Is Baldwin Pleading?
On February 23, the actor pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges related to the 2021 fatal shooting.
According to court documents obtained by CNN, Baldwin will be released on personal recognizance as long as he abstains from alcohol, doesn’t speak with other witnesses of the shooting and doesn’t own a gun.
Maurizio Dell’Amore/MEGA
3 Crew Members Sue Baldwin
In February 2023, three Rust crew members filed a lawsuit against the It’s Complicated actor and the film’s other producers, claiming that the fatal shooting on set caused them physical and psychological damage. The complaint alleges that the three plaintiffs suffered “blast injuries” as a result of their proximity to Baldwin at the time of the incident. The crew members also claimed that they continue to suffer from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
“These injuries were caused by Defendants’ failure to follow industry safety rules,” the lawsuit claims, according to People. “Defendants cut corners; ignored reports of multiple, unscripted firearms discharges; and persisted, rushed and understaffed, to finish the film.”
Santa Fe County Sheriff/MEGA
Last Day of Filming
Baldwin commemorated the last day of filming on May 22, 2023. 
“Last day of filming RUST in Montana. Sorry that I did not get to work with this living legend, the great @francesfisher. Patrick, I envy you.” the 30 Rock alum wrote via Instagram. “It’s been a long and difficult road. But we reach the end of the trail today. Congratulations to Joel, Bianca and the entire cast and crew. Nothing less than a miracle.” 
Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/Shutterstock
A Settlement Is Approved in Wrongful Death Suit
A settlement for the wrongful death lawsuit of Hutchins was approved by a New Mexico court on June 1, 2023. A Santa Fe district court judge made the approval, according to New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts public information officer Barry Massey, per KRQE News. 
The approval means that Hutchins’ son, Andros Hutchins, will be compensated for his mother’s death.
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Potential Refiled Charges
Charges against Baldwin could possibly be refiled against the star after independent testing done on the gun used in the shooting proved it had not malfunctioned. In order for the gun to fire, the trigger had to have been pulled.
“The fired evidence cartridge is the consequence of a normal hammer fall from the fully cocked position of the hammer,” states a court report filed by the Forensic Science Services of Arizona, according to CNN.
The report was filed as a part of the defense against the film’s Rust armorer, Gutierrez Reed. She plead not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with the weapon in August 2023.
Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic
A 2nd Indictment
Baldwin was indicted for a second time on charges of involuntary manslaughter, five months after the weapon was retested, Us confirmed in January 2024. The actor could serve up to 18 months in prison if he is convicted.
“We look forward to our day in court,” Baldwin’s attorneys, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, said in a statement to Us at the time.
John Lamparski/Getty Images

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