Movie set shooting: Actor Alec Baldwin pleads not guiltytext_fields
Los Angeles: Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin on Thursday pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in the fatal shooting on the set of the low-budget film Rust.
He was granted bail under the condition that he not use firearms or drink alcohol. He will also be allowed to complete the filming. Other than for the movie, he is not allowed to be in contact with any witnesses.
The incident took place in October 2021. Baldwin was holding a Colt. 45 during the rehearsals of the film. The gun discharged and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.
The film's armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was responsible for the weapon on set is also facing two alternative counts of voluntary manslaughter. Baldwin is also the co-producer of the film. If found guilty, they face up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies this week dropped the charge that could have increased the maximum sentence by five years.
The 64-year-old actor has repeatedly claimed that he did not know the gun was loaded and that it was handed to him by the crew. He also told the cops that he did not pull the trigger, a claim FBI firearms experts dismissed.
His lawyer Luke Nikas said the charges are a "terrible miscarriage of justice" and Baldwin had no reason to believe that there was a live bullet in the gun or anywhere in the set. "He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win."
Lawyers for Gutierrez-Reed also said the armourer will be cleared.
The gun was handed to Baldwin by assistant director Dave Halls. He also said the gun was "cold", meaning safe. He has agreed to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon. He will serve a suspended sentence and six months of probation.