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Alec Baldwin Pleads Not Guilty to ‘Rust’ Charges

Alec Baldwin has entered a not-guilty plea to a new charge of involuntary manslaughter related to the tragic 2021 ‘Rust’ sh*oting. This plea came as he waived his right to an arraignment, as outlined in New Mexico court documents filed in Santa Fe County a day before the scheduled arraignment. The charges stem from an indictment by a New Mexico grand jury.

According to court documents, Baldwin has been released on personal recognizance with conditions. These conditions include compliance with all local, state and federal laws, refraining from possessing firearms or dangerous weapons, abstaining from drugs and alcohol and obtaining written permission from the court before leaving the country.

Image Courtesy: NPR

While the court permits Baldwin to promote ‘Rust,’ he is prohibited from discussing the accident with anyone involved in the production who may testify or the alleged victim(s). This development follows the actor’s previous involuntary manslaughter charge in January 2023, which was subsequently dropped three months later.

The new charges specify involuntary manslaughter, either through negligent use of a firearm or without due caution or circumspection. Conviction under the new charge could result in up to 18 months in prison, as per New Mexico law.

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Image Courtesy: Variety

The incident occurred on the set of the ‘Western Rust’ in 2021 when Baldwin, holding a prop gun, unintentionally discharged it, resulting in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injury to director Joel Souza. Baldwin has consistently asserted his ignorance of the live bullet in the prop gun and denies pulling the trigger.

SAG-AFTRA has publicly supported Baldwin, stating that the charges misinterpret the actor’s responsibilities on set, emphasizing that actors are not expected to be firearms experts.

Image Courtesy: Rolling Stone

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In response, Gloria Allred, the attorney representing Hutchins’ family, challenged this stance, asserting that actors cannot be absolved of responsibility for discharging weapons on set. She emphasized the importance of respecting the grand jury’s decision to indict and allowing the criminal justice system to proceed to trial, where the case will be decided on its merits.

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