Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Santa Fe Co. grand jury indicts Alec Baldwin in 2021 ‘Rust’ shooting at Bonanza Creek Ranch

A grand jury on Friday indicted actor Alec Baldwin on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on a New Mexico movie set in 2021.

Baldwin faces one felony charge of involuntary manslaughter by negligent use of a firearm, or in the alternative, involuntary manslaughter without due caution or circumspection. 

The decision on which of the two he would ultimately be charged with would be decided by a judge or jury based on the evidence presented at trial.

A spokesperson for the First Judicial District Attorney’s office in Santa Fe said that he could not comment on the case. 

On Oct. 21, 2021, Hutchins was shot and killed on the set of the Western movie “Rust” that was in production near Santa Fe as Baldwin was practicing a “cross-draw” with a revolver. The gun discharged, firing a single bullet that killed Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.

Baldwin, the lead actor and a co-producer of the movie, previously stated he’d been told the revolver was “cold,” meaning it did not have live ammunition in the cylinder. He has also stated publicly that he did not pull the trigger, and that the gun discharged when he pulled back the hammer.

Prosecutors in Santa Fe dismissed an involuntary manslaughter charge against Baldwin in April 2023, stating that further investigation and forensic analysis were needed, things that prosecutors felt couldn’t be completed before a May 2023 preliminary hearing. 

The case was dismissed “without prejudice,” giving prosecutors the option to refile charges.

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