New Mexico prosecutors have dropped charges against American actor Alec Baldwin, in whose hands a fake gun was fired during the filming of Rust, killing cameraman Galina Hutchins and injuring director Joel Sousa. According to The New York Times, citing an official familiar with the investigation, the revolver was modified and could fire itself without pulling the trigger, as Baldwin claimed.
New facts require further investigation, the prosecutor's office said. It is possible that Baldwin could be charged again. Charges against the weapons consultant for involuntary manslaughter remained in place. How live ammunition ended up being loaded into the revolver used on the set is still unclear.
On April 19, CNN reported that filming on the film, which was halted due to the murder in 2021, will resume in Montana. Both Baldwin and injured director Joel Sowes will return to the project. Galina Hutchins' husband, Matthew Hutchins, will serve as executive producer. Earlier, he and the actor reached a settlement agreement on a lawsuit that Hutchins filed after the death of his wife.
Cinematographer Galina Hutchins died on October 21, 2021 as a result of a gunshot fired by Baldwin, which was a prop, and the director of the film, Joel Sous, was also injured. New Mexico State Attorney's Office has charged Baldwin and Rust film consultant Hannah Gutierrez-Reed with the unintentional murder of Hutchins. According to the prosecutor's office, Baldwin did not receive serious training in the handling of weapons, it took him only half an hour to train, as he was distracted and talking to his family on the phone. Prosecutors also allege that Gutierrez-Reed did not insist on Baldwin's training, did not check every round, and did not follow safety protocols when storing ammunition. In December 2021, Baldwin stated in an interview with ABC that he did not pull the trigger of a revolver: "I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger, never." He also added that "someone inserted a live round into the gun, a round that shouldn't even have been on the pad."