Alec Baldwin’s Hollywood career has been teetering on the brink.
He was charged in the shooting death of a crew member during filming.
And Baldwin’s manslaughter case ended with one shocking result.
After a year and a half of anxiety, Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin can breathe a sigh of relief.
The involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin have been dropped due to supposed new evidence uncovered at the eleventh hour.
Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter after allegedly firing a gun on-set that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during the filming of the western Rust.
Baldwin was practicing a cross-draw during rehearsal and the gun went off.
The bullet struck and killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.
Baldwin alleged he never fired the gun, a claim that was disputed by the FBI – forensic analysis concluded it would’ve been impossible for the gun to have fired without the trigger being pulled.
However, the new evidence saved Baldwin’s hide.
The New York Times reported that the “decision to drop the charges against Mr. Baldwin came after the new prosecutors reviewed new evidence that showed that the gun he was practicing with had been modified before it was delivered to the set, according to an official close to the investigation who was granted anonymity to discuss the case.”
Somehow this bombshell evidence went unnoticed throughout the entire pre-trial process.
In light of the evidence, Kari Morrissey, one of the two new special prosecutors on the case, said in a statement, “New facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis in the case against Alec Baldwin…Therefore, we cannot proceed under the current time constraints and on the facts and evidence turned over by law enforcement in its existing form. This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled.”
Baldwin can still be charged at a later date, but he’s off the hook for now.
Sante Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies initially appointed special prosecutor Andrea Reeb to the case, however Reeb stepped down after Baldwin’s attorneys argued she had a conflict of interest having been recently elected to the New Mexico state legislature.
Carmack-Altwies then appointed Morrissey and another special prosecutor.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armorer, is still facing charges in Hutchins’s death.
Gutierrez-Reed argued that Baldwin, who was also a producer on the project, disregarded her gun safety instructions.
She also contends she was forced to handle multiple tasks outside her purview, suggesting the production team was cutting corners.
Filming on Rust has since resumed with production relocating from New Mexico to Montana.
Surprisingly, Matthew Hutchins, the widower of cinematographer Halyna, was brought on as executive producer for the project.
Hutchins also works as an associate attorney at Latham & Watkins, one of the biggest law firms in the world.
Baldwin’s attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro announced, “We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and we encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident.”
For now, Baldwin can resume his acting career.