Mission Impossible actor Alec Baldwin charged with manslaughter over ‘Rust’ film death

The legal maze surrounding the 'Rust' movie set tragedy is seeing another turn as Alec Baldwin has been charged with manslaughter.

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Courtesy: ABC News

In a shocking turn of events, Alec Baldwin, the lead actor and co-producer of the Western movie 'Rust,' now finds himself charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to a fatal shooting on the movie set. 

The incident occurred during a rehearsal on the movie set outside Santa Fe in October 2021. Baldwin, pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, inadvertently fired the weapon, resulting in her tragic death and wounding director Joel Souza.

Baldwin has claimed that he only pulled back the hammer, not the trigger, and the gun discharged unexpectedly. This assertion became a pivotal point in the legal proceedings.

Months after a new analysis of the gun used, a grand jury in Santa Fe indicted Alec Baldwin on involuntary manslaughter charges, reviving a case that had seemingly gone dormant.

Civil lawsuits and prosecutorial strategy

Judges recently put several civil lawsuits on hold, seeking compensation from Baldwin and 'Rust' producers. Special prosecutors dismissed a previous charge, citing potential gun modifications, but have now revisited the case with fresh evidence.

Expert analysis by Lucien Haag of Forensic Science Services in Arizona contradicts Baldwin's claims. The report suggests that the trigger had to be pulled or depressed, challenging Baldwin's narrative. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the weapons supervisor, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering. Meanwhile, David Halls, the assistant director, pleaded no contest to unsafe firearm handling, cooperating in the ongoing investigation.

FBI report and gun design anomalies

The FBI's analysis indicates that firearms like the one involved in the incident could discharge without triggering if force was applied to an uncocked hammer. 

Meanwhile, the tragic event led to a series of civil lawsuits, with accusations of lax safety standards on the movie set. The Rust Movie Productions company paid a US$100,000 fine for safety protocol violations.

Despite the controversies, filming of 'Rust' resumed in Montana, under an agreement with the cinematographer's widower, Matthew Hutchins, who became an executive producer.