Special prosecutors have not decided whether criminal charges will be filed again Alec Baldwin in the fatal shooting of 2021 rust director of photography Halyna Hutchinsbut the actor is this week trying to stop the crew members of the indie western from taking him to court.
Meanwhile, armer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed he has seen his criminal trial begin next year.
Attorneys for Baldwin and El Dorado Pictures have filed a motion to dismiss the civil case filed in February for rust Crew members Ross Addiego, Doran Curtin and Reese Price, who accused Baldwin and the producers of “negligent and reckless conduct”. Hedging their bets, the defendants also have a pending motion to stay the matter until today rust the criminal trial is made and determined.
The First Judicial District Court of New Mexico has a hearing set for Wednesday on those motions, with the outcome potentially creating a significant blast radius not only for the criminal case, (from which Baldwin was abandoned of April, but also for several other civil cases pending against Baldwin in New Mexico and California.
Baldwin has long insisted he never pulled the trigger on the 1880s gun that killed and wounded Hutchins. rust director Joel Souza on October 21, 2021 at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, NM. Baldwin, pointing the gun at Hutchins during a rehearsal, says the gun simply went off, an insistence the FBI disagreed with. his report on it released last year. Initially charged by the local DA under much more presumptive measures, Baldwin, like Gutierrez-Reed, was looking at a maximum of 18 months behind bars and about $5,000 in fines if convicted.
In that regard, Baldwin was partially vindicated when newly appointed special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis dismissed manslaughter claims against the actor this spring due to concerns about the condition of the firearm in question and the possible modifications that could have occurred. While Morrissey and Lewis have continued their investigation of Gutierrez-Reed, who has pleaded not guilty, the duo made sure to leave the door open to bringing Baldwin back into the criminal case if the evidence warranted it.
That time could be near, perhaps.
“Although Alec Baldwin repeatedly denies pulling the trigger, given the evidence, findings and observations reported here, the trigger must have been pulled or pulled enough to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer from the revolver of evidence,” says a forensic report commissioned by prosecutors and made public last week (read the rust forensic report here).
Weapons examiners Lucien Haag and Michael Haag added in the August 2 report: “If the hammer had not been fully retracted to the rear and slipped from the operator’s thumb without the trigger was pulled, the half-cock or quarter-cock would stick to the hammer. It should have prevented the firing pin from reaching any cartridge in the chamber.”
Having done his displeasure of com rust The investigation was handled by local police and Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, it is known, whether special prosecutors now move to file charges against the much sought-after Baldwin remains a wild card even with the new report. “Charges against Mr. Baldwin are being considered, but a final decision has not yet been made,” Special Prosecutor Morrisey said Aug. 16 after the Haags’ graphic and photo-heavy report was released. “We will not be pressured by Ms. Gutiérrez’s lawyers or anyone else in this regard.”
Regardless of how that aspect of the case plays out, the already delayed criminal trial was rescheduled for Monday from end of this year until February 21, 2024. Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, had no comment on the latest date change when contacted by Deadline.
The reason given for the change was “scheduling issues” around the witnesses, I’ve heard from a person close to the case. New Mexico District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer has penciled in the criminal trial, which will run until March 6.
This will make it almost a year after a resurrected rust production began rolling in Montana with producer Baldwin back in front of the camera as retired gunslinger Harland Rust and Souza directing.
Finishing production a few weeks later, rust 2.0 saw widower and entertainment attorney Matthew Hutchins executive produce both the feature film and a documentary about his wife. The role of the EP was part of Hutchins October 2022 legal agreement with rust producers after filing a wrongful-death lawsuit earlier that year.