Not So Fast: Special Prosecutors Interrupt Alec Baldwin's Celebrations with Some Painful News
Actor Alec Baldwin is not home free even though charges against him were dropped, according to the special prosecutors in the case.
Numerous outlets reported Thursday that the manslaughter charges against Baldwin in the October 2021 shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie “Rust” were dropped.
Baldwin’s lawyers immediately claimed this was vindication.
“We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic incident,” they said in a statement.
However, in their statement Thursday night on the decision to drop the charges, special prosecutors Jason Lewis and Kari Morrissey said it does not mean they are gone for good.
“Over the last few days and in preparation for the May 3, 2023, preliminary hearing, new facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis in the case against Alexander ‘Alec’ Rae Baldwin, III,” the prosecutors said in a statement.
“Consequently, we cannot proceed under the current time constraints and on the facts and evidence turned over by law enforcement in its existing form,” they said.
The prosecutors said the charges were being dismissed to “conduct further investigation.”
“This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled,” they said. “Our follow-up investigation will remain active and on-going.”
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According to Variety, two things led to the dismissal.
The site reported that evidence presented by Baldwin’s lawyers indicated the gun used in the shooting had been modified in such a way that it could make it more difficult to prove Baldwin pulled the trigger – something he has denied.
It also noted that the special prosecutors had little time to prepare for the May 3 hearing amid some confusion on the prosecution side. Lewis and Morrissey were appointed in late March.
Although charges against Baldwin were dropped, involuntary manslaughter charges remain against Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer for the movie.
Jason Bowles and Todd Bullion, who represent Gutierrez Reed, said they expect she will be vindicated.
“The new special prosecutor team has taken a very diligent and thorough approach to the entire investigation, which we welcome and have always welcomed,” Bowles and Bullion said, according to Variety.
“They are seeking the truth and we are also. The truth about what happened will come out and the questions that we have long sought answers for will be answered. We fully expect at the end of this process that Hannah will also be exonerated,” they said.
Dave Halls, the first assistant director on the set, had been charged with negligent handling of a weapon. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation.
Baldwin still has a civil lawsuit to deal with.
Members of Hutchins’ family, including her father, mother and sister, have a lawsuit pending against Baldwin, according to The Washington Post.
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