Alec Baldwin ‘pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges’ over Rust shooting


Alec Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter over the Rust shooting (Picture: Getty)

Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter following the Rust shooting in 2021, it has been claimed.

The 30 Rock actor accidentally discharged a prop gun on the set of the Western flick, fatally shooting cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.

Amid an investigation into the incident, the 64-year-old was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, and due to attend a virtual arraignment hearing on February 24.

According to TMZ, he submitted his plea earlier today, meaning that he no longer has to appear in court tomorrow.

The publication reports that he has been ordered not to drink, own a gun or contact potential witnesses – unless it is regarding Rust filming.

Baldwin has always maintained that he was not aware that the gun had a live round, and that he did not intend to shoot Hutchins.

Halyna Hutchins

Halyna Hutchins died in the tragic shooting (Picture: Getty)

Last month, the actor and the film’s armorer – Hannah Gutierrez-Reed – were both charged with two felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act over the incident.

The first charge can be referred to as involuntary manslaughter and requires proof of underlying negligence, while the second is involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act.

This requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in a death, and includes a firearm enhancement – which makes the crime punishable by a mandatory five years in jail.

The Hollywood star’s lawyers vowed to fight the decision, and sought to have one of the charges thrown out by a US court.

Alec Baldwin

Baldwin has always maintained his innocence (Picture: AFP)

In court documents filed this month, his legal team argued that prosecutors in New Mexico had committed an ‘unconstitutional and elementary legal error’ by charging him under a statute that did not exist when the shooting occured.

They said the enhancement had only been enacted last May, meaning the charge was ‘unlawful’.

‘The prosecutors in this case have committed an unconstitutional and elementary legal error by charging Mr Baldwin under a statute that did not exist on the date of the accident,’ the motion read.

‘It thus appears that the government intended to charge the current version of the firearm enhancement statute, which was not enacted until May 18, 2022, seven months after the accident.

‘Mr Baldwin also respectfully requests that the Court decline to bind over that enhancement.’

The DA later dropped the gun enhancement charge in the case – including the one against Gutierrez-Reed.

TMZ reports that this may mean that Baldwin could avoid jail time if he is convicted.

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