Prosecutors have warned that dropping involuntary manslaughter charges against Alec Baldwin “does not absolve [him] of criminal culpability”.
The 65-year-old actor had been charged over the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins – who died when a gun went off on the set of Western ‘Rust’ in October 2021 – but on Thursday (20.04.23), it was announced the case against him wouldn’t be proceeding.
However, special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis have warned “charges may be refiled” after further investigations take place.
The pair said in a statement: “Over the last few days and in preparation for the May 3, 2023, preliminary hearing, new facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis in the case against Alexander ‘Alec’ Rae Baldwin, III.
“Consequently, we cannot proceed under the current time constraints and on the facts and evidence turned over by law enforcement in its existing form. We therefore will be dismissing the involuntary manslaughter charges against Mr. Baldwin to conduct further investigation.
“This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled. Our follow-up investigation will remain active and on-going.”
Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed has also been charged with involuntary manslaughter over the tragedy, and the pair confirmed the case against her is still going ahead.
The prosecutors said: “Charges against Hannah Gutierrez-Reed remain unchanged.”
The clarification comes hours after Hannah’s legal team said they expected she would be “exonerated” by the new special prosecutors.
Jason Bowles and Todd Bulllion said in a statement: “The new special prosecutor team has taken a very diligent and thorough approach to the entire investigation, which we welcome and have always welcomed.
“They are seeking the truth and we are also. The truth about what happened will come out and the questions that we have long sought answers for will be answered. We fully expect at the end of this process that Hannah will also be exonerated.”
Meanwhile, Alec’s lawyers welcomed the decision to drop the charges against him.
His attorneys, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, issued a brief statement which read: “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.”
An online status hearing will take place on Friday (21.04.23).