A New Mexico grand jury indicted the star, who was holding a gun on set of the movie 2021 when it discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins
Alec Baldwin has been indicted by a New Mexico grand jury on an involuntary manslaughter charge in connection with the fatal 2021 Rust shooting.
With this new charge, Baldwin faces up to 18 months in prison, according to The New York Times.
Baldwin's lawyers, Alex Spiro and Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, said, "We look forward to our day in court," in response to Friday's indictment.
The actor was holding a prop gun in 2021 on the set of the Western when it discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
The 30 Rock actor has repeatedly maintained that he did not know the gun mistakenly contained a live bullet, and also claimed he did not pull the trigger.
"Our clients have always sought the truth about what happened on the day that Halyna Hutchins was tragically shot and killed on October 21, 2021. They continue to seek the truth in our civil lawsuit for them and they also would like there to be accountability in the criminal justice system," an attorney for Hutchins' family, Gloria Allred, said in response to Friday's indictment.
Added Allred, "The grand jury has decided that there is sufficient evidence to indict Alec Baldwin on the charge of involuntary manslaughter. We are looking forward to the criminal trial which will determine if he should be convicted for the untimely death of Halyna."
But prosecutors accused the Emmy-winning star of “extremely reckless acts” when they charged him with two counts of involuntary manslaughter following a lengthy investigation.
Movie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was also previously charged with involuntary manslaughter. She has pled not guilty and is set to stand trial in February.
According to a statement of probable cause filed in the First Judicial Court in New Mexico, Baldwin didn’t receive required firearms training; did not ask Gutierrez-Reed to show him that the gun contained no live rounds; ignored safety complaints from crew members; and put his finger “on the trigger of a real firearm when a replica or rubber gun should have been used.”
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After special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason J. Lewis took over the case, they announced in April that they were dropping charges against Baldwin citing “new facts” in the case. They also said they reserved the right to re-charge him.
Two months later, the prosecutors wrote in a court filing that the gun had been sent to an independent expert for further testing.
“The charges against Alec Baldwin were dismissed without prejudice because a possible malfunction of the gun significantly effects causation with regard to Baldwin, not with regard to Gutierrez. If it is determined that the gun did not malfunction, charges against Mr. Baldwin will proceed,” they wrote.
The forensic report written by expert Lucien C. Haag and obtained by PEOPLE in August concluded that the trigger of the prop gun must have been pulled “sufficiently” enough to cause the accident.
“Although Alec Baldwin repeatedly denies pulling the trigger, given the tests, findings and observations reported here, the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver,” read the firearms report by experts Lucien Haag and Mike Haag, They were hired by the State of New Mexico in its case against Gutierrez-Reed.
“This fatal incident was the consequence of the hammer being manually retracted to its fully rearward and cocked position followed, at some point, by the pull or rearward depression of the trigger,” they continued.
But according to The New York Times, "in order to conduct the testing, Mr. Haag had to replace parts of the gun, which had been damaged by the F.B.I. during its own analysis."
“We believe the appropriate course of action is to permit a panel of New Mexico citizens to determine from here whether Mr. Baldwin should be held over for criminal trial,” the statement said.
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