Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to a new charge of involuntary manslaughter related to the fatal 2021 Rust shooting. The 65-year-old actor entered his plea, waiving his right to an arraignment, as indicated in New Mexico court documents. This plea comes after being indicted by a New Mexico grand jury for a second time on January 19. Baldwin, who has been released on personal recognizance, must adhere to conditions including obeying all laws, refraining from possessing firearms or dangerous weapons, abstaining from drugs or alcohol, and obtaining court permission for international travel.
Under these new charges, Baldwin could face up to 18 months in prison if convicted, as per New Mexico law. The actor’s legal team, represented by Alex Spiro and Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, expressed anticipation for their day in court following the January 19 indictment. The charges stem from an incident on the Rust set in 2021 when Baldwin, holding a prop gun, inadvertently discharged it, resulting in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuries to director Joel Souza. Baldwin asserts he was unaware the gun contained a live bullet and did not intentionally pull the trigger.
The actor’s previous charge of involuntary manslaughter in January 2023 was initially dropped three months later, leading to the recent reindictment. SAG-AFTRA has publicly defended Baldwin, challenging the notion that actors should inspect firearms on set, emphasizing the responsibility lies with professional experts guiding the safe use of such props. Hutchins’ family’s attorney, Gloria Allred, countered this stance, asserting that an actor’s responsibility for weapon discharge on set aligns with common sense and legal principles. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the on-set armorer for Rust, has also faced charges of involuntary manslaughter and entered a not guilty plea in August, awaiting trial in February.