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20 April 2023

Alec Baldwin pays tribute to wife and lawyer after Rust lawsuit dismissed

20 April 2023

Alec Baldwin seemed to pay tribute to his wife and lawyer after the case over the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was dismissed.

The Hollywood actor posted a photo of himself and his wife Hilaria Baldwin online, shortly after his lawyers released a statement on Thursday saying the case had been dismissed.

Baldwin had faced two counts of involuntary manslaughter over the shooting on the New Mexico set of the Rust movie in October 2021.

The incident occurred after a prop gun held by Baldwin went off, killing Ms Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.

The actor previously pleaded not guilty to both charges of involuntary manslaughter.

He captioned his Instagram post: “I owe everything I have to this woman … (and to you, Luke).”

The Hollywood actor has been defended by lawyers Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro throughout proceedings.

We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and we encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident

In a statement shared with the PA news agency, Mr Nikas and Mr Spiro said they were “pleased” with the decision and encouraged a proper investigation into the “tragic incident”.

“We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and we encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident,” the statement read.

The Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office has been approached for comment regarding the case’s dismissal.

The announcement comes less than two weeks before a preliminary hearing in the case in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where it was to be determined whether there was enough evidence to take it to trial.

Santa Fe district attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and a special prosecutor, Andrea Reeb, had previously stepped down from the case.

Their decisions came after much back-and-forth between the two sides, with Baldwin’s lawyers arguing that Ms Reeb’s involvement was “unconstitutional” due to her elected position in the New Mexico House of Representatives.

In turn the DA’s office had accused Baldwin of using his “fancy attorneys” to “distract from the gross negligence” in the case.

The actor was formally charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter by the DA in February, alongside the film’s armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed.

The first charge required proof of underlying negligence and included the misdemeanour charge of negligent use of a firearm.

The second charge included a firearm enhancement, which would have made the crime punishable by a mandatory five years in jail.

The enhancement was later dropped by the DA after Baldwin’s lawyers argued that it was “unlawful”, and said prosecutors had committed an “unconstitutional and elementary legal error”.

In the statement of probable cause, filed alongside the charges, the DA accused Baldwin of showing “wilful disregard” for the safety of others in the days leading up to the shooting.

His “reckless deviation from known standards and practice and protocol” directly caused Ms Hutchins’ death, the DA had alleged.

Baldwin also faces a separate civil lawsuit, filed on February 9 by the family of Ms Hutchins.

The family is suing the actor and the Rust movie production company for alleged battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and loss of consortium.

Loss of consortium is a claim which seeks to recover compensation for damage to certain relationships that are mutually dependent.

Thursday’s development coincided with the resumption of production on the movie, which has begun again in the US state of Montana.

Legal representatives for Rust Movie Productions stressed that all use of working weapons or ammunition is, “and always has been”, prohibited on set.

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