Alec Baldwin today thanked two rather disparate people in responding to New Mexico dropping criminal charges today against him in the on-set shooting death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
The Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning star’s first public comments on the surprise development came in an Instagram post. Under a doting photo of Baldwin and his wife, Hilaria, the actor added the caption: “I owe everything I have to this woman (and to you Luke).”
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The latter is a nod to Luke Nikas, Baldwin’s attorney in the Rust case.
Today’s news about the charges surrounding the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the Rust set in October 2021 came less than two weeks before a mini-trial was scheduled to begin in New Mexico. A virtual status conference in the case has been scheduled for April 21 before Judge Mary Marlow Sommer.
Baldwin and Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were charged in late January with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Along with a mandatory five-year firearm enhancement that later was cast aside as “unconstitutional,” the charges carried a maximum of 18 months behind bars and about $5,000 in fines if a jury delivered guilty verdicts. At the time, New Mexico officials made a plea deal with Rust assistant director Dave Halls, who was sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation.
Baldwin, who was rehearsing a scene for the movie when the gun went off, repeatedly has insisted he did not pull the trigger on the 1880s prop gun that killed Hutchins and wounded the film’s director, Joel Souza.
Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.
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