Actor Alec Baldwin pleaded not guilty Thursday to involuntary manslaughter in the 2021 on-set shooting that killed “Rust” movie cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.
Baldwin also filed a waiver to skip a court appearance scheduled for Friday, and New Mexico First Judicial District Judge Mary Marlowe Summer accepted the waiver and ordered him released on his on recognizance with conditions, KOAT reported.
Those conditions including obeying laws, not possessing firearms or other dangerous weapons, not consuming alcohol and maintaining contact with his attorney. He is permitted to be in contact with other witnesses in the case as long as that contact is related to completing the movie — work on the film is expected to resume this spring — and as long as he does not discuss the case with them.
Baldwin and set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was in charge of weapons used on the set, are both charged with involuntary manslaughter, as CrimeOnline has reported. A third member of the crew, assistant director David Halls, has reportedly agreed to a plea deal on a misdemeanor. Halls handed the weapon to Baldwin during a rehearsal, telling him incorrectly it was not loaded with live ammunition.
A few minutes later, while practicing a draw, Baldwin pointing the gun toward the camera. The gun went off, striking Hutchins and Souza. Baldwin says he did not pull the trigger, although ballistics experts have said the gun could not have gone off otherwise.
Earlier this week, the district attorney dropped a gun enhancement charge that could have resulted in more prison time if Baldwin is convicted.
Gutierrez-Reed and Halls are still expected in court on Friday.
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[Featured image: In this image from video released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, Alec Baldwin (center) gestures while talking with investigators following a fatal shooting on a movie set in Santa Fe, New Mexico. (Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office via AP)]