Prosecutors in the Rust fatal shooting case may refile charges against Alec Baldwin after the involuntary manslaughter case against him was initially dismissed.
The update comes after the 65-year-old actor returned to set 18 months after the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot dead on the set of the film.
Baldwin and a film industry weapon supervisor, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, were both previously charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Attorneys representing the actor in the case said in a statement that they were “pleased” that the charges against Baldwin had been dismissed yesterday, but encouraged the investigation to continue.
“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,” Baldwin attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro said in a statement, per Deadline.
However, special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis said in a statement last night that the charges may be refiled, and that they dropped the charges against the actor because “time constraints” prevented them from handing new evidence to law enforcement.
They said that over the last few days “new facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis in the case against Alexander “Alec” Rae Baldwin, III.”
“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 added.
“We therefore will be dismissing the involuntary manslaughter charges against Mr. Baldwin to conduct further investigation.
“This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled. Our follow-up investigation will remain active and on-going.”
Gutierrez-Reed is still facing charges
Morrissey and Lewis were appointed as special prosecutors by the district attorney after Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and state Rep. Andrea Reeb both stepped down in the case.
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed were charged in January, more than a year after Hutchins tragically died, and the pair pled not guilty to the charges.
Gun enhancement charges filed in the case against both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed were dropped in February, according to ABC News, but the latter is still facing involuntary manslaughter charges.
Last month, the first assistant director David Halls was charged with negligent use of a deadly weapon in the deadly shooting that claimed Hutchins’s life.
He took a plea deal to serve six months of unsupervised probation for handing Baldin the deadly firearm after indicating it was safe.
Most of the Rust cast, and crew remain intact as filming resumes
Rust has returned to filming but will not return to the location where the deadly shooting occurred.
The set has been moved from New Mexico to Montana at the Yellowstone Film Ranch.
A Sky News reporter on the scene of the new set said that the majority of the cast and crew of the film remain the same as when Hutchins was killed on October 21, 2021.
Hutchins’s widow Matthew became an executive producer of the film after he settled a lawsuit in October last year. The film will reportedly pay tribute to the late cinematographer.