Prosecutors plan to dismiss charges against Alec Baldwin in Rust shooting case, lawyer says

Alec Baldwin.
Alec Baldwin. Photo credit: Getty Images

Prosecutors in the Rust fatal shooting case plan to file a notice to dismiss involuntary manslaughter charges against Alec Baldwin, his attorney Luke Nikas tells CNN.

The special prosecutor in the Santa Fe, New Mexico case has been contacted for comment.

Halyna Hutchins, the film's cinematographer, was struck and killed by a live round of ammunition fired from a prop gun held by Baldwin while rehearsing a scene on the set of Rust in 2021. Baldwin has pleaded not guilty.

Director Joel Souza was also shot and injured.

Baldwin and Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed were both charged with involuntary manslaughter in January. 

Baldwin pleaded not guilty. An attorney for Gutierrez Reed has previously said she will plead not guilty and has maintained her innocence. 

A preliminary hearing in her case is set for May 3.

Prosecutors had already removed a firearm enhancement charge against Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed, reducing a potential prison sentence from five years to a maximum of 18 months.

"We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident," Baldwin's attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro told CNN.

Thursday's development comes one month after the special prosecutor in the case, Andrea Reeb, stepped down, following a motion by Baldwin's attorney to have her disqualified as "unconstitutional" under New Mexico law due to her elected position in the New Mexico House of Representatives. Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies also stepped away from the case and appointed long-time New Mexico attorneys Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis to serve as special prosecutors.

Earlier this year, Rust assistant director Dave Halls and prosecutors reached a plea agreement "for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon". At the time, prosecutors said the terms of that deal include six months of probation and a suspended sentence.

As part of a wrongful death settlement between Matthew Hutchins, the widower of Halyna Hutchins, Baldwin and Rust producers, production on the film has resumed. Matthew Hutchins is now serving as an executive producer on the project.