Alec Baldwin could still be charged in the Rust shooting that claimed the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, suggests a new forensic report concluding the gun’s trigger was pulled “enough”
Criminal charges against Baldwin were initially dropped and filming for the film wrapped earlier this year.
But Baldwin, 65, who has repeatedly denied pulling the trigger, could be recalled to court for the murder.
The firearms report, obtained by People Magazine, states, “the trigger had to be depressed or depressed far enough to release the hammer fully cocked or retracted from the evidence revolver.”
Baldwin has repeatedly denied pulling the trigger on the gun whose bullet killed Halyna Hutchins. A new report says otherwise
Halyna Hutchins, 42 and mother of one, was killed in October 2021 when a bullet discharged from a gun held by Baldwin and struck her
“This fatal incident was the result of manually retracting the hammer to its fully rearward and cocked position, followed, at some point, by pulling or depressing the trigger rearward,” they said. writes firearms experts Lucien Haag and Mike Haag, who were hired by the state of New Mexico in its lawsuit against Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the set’s gunsmith.
In October 2021, Baldwin was holding the Colt .45 revolver which, unbeknownst to him, contained live ammunition, when he discharged and struck 42-year-old Hutchins and the film’s director Joel Souza.
At the time, the Santa Fe County District Attorney’s Office charged Baldwin, who also served as the film’s producer, with two counts of manslaughter.
In April, the charges were dismissed without prejudice, although prosecutors noted that Baldwin could still face charges pending an ongoing investigation into the weapon.
“The gun and the broken trigger have been sent to the State’s Independent Expert for further testing. The charges against Alec Baldwin were dismissed without prejudice because a possible malfunction of the weapon significantly affects causation against Baldwin, and not against Gutierrez,” prosecutors wrote in June.
“If it is determined that the weapon did not malfunction, charges against Mr. Baldwin will be pursued.”
The new prosecution report in the case against Gutierrez-Reed states that the weapon “functioned properly and in accordance with the operational design of the original Colt 1873 single-action revolvers.”
Although the ‘hammer bottom step was badly damaged, the top of the trigger sear was broken and the bolt (cylinder stop) was also broken’ due to the incident on the set, there were no indications of modifications to the gun.
An August 2022 FBI forensic report concluded essentially the same thing: that Baldwin pulled the trigger.
Prosecutors charged Gutierrez-Reed with manslaughter and tampering with evidence
The Cast and Crew of Rust Before the Fatal 2021 Shootout
Baldwin was initially charged, but the case was dropped after evidence suggested the gun could have been fired without him pulling the trigger.
Last week, Gutierrez-Reed, 26, pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.
Her attorney, Jason Bowles, said her client “looks forward to her day in court and for everyone’s conduct on set to be fully scrutinized.”
Gutierrez-Reed waived her right to an arraignment and a preliminary hearing on Wednesday when she submitted the plea. His trial is scheduled for December.
Jury selection will begin the day before opening statements.
Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys have previously said they “fully expect at the end of this process that Hannah will also be exonerated.”
The state of New Mexico, where the shooting took place, was forced to drop charges against Baldwin after losing several preliminary rulings.
The actor was seen lingering outside the grounds of the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office after being questioned about the accidental shooting in 2021
He has stated in interviews that he was told the gun was safe and he never pulled the trigger.
“I didn’t pull the trigger. I would never point a gun at someone and pull the trigger, ever,’ he said in December 2021.
Santa Fe County prosecutors could still decide to file new charges after sending the gun for further testing.
After a scathing safety review by New Mexico regulators that detailed complaints ignored and misfired before Hutchins died in October 2021, the production company agreed to pay a $100,000 fine.