Alec Baldwin could still be charged over Rust shooting after new gun test casts doubt on his account | Ents & Arts News
Alec Baldwin could still face criminal charges over Halyna Hutchins’ death after a new analysis said the gun’s trigger must have been pulled.
The cinematographer, 42, was shot on the set of Western movie Rust when a prop gun fired during a rehearsal in New Mexico in October 2021.
Hollywood actor Baldwin, 65, has insisted he pulled back the hammer but didn’t pull the trigger.
Involuntary manslaughter charges against him were dropped in April after prosecutors said the gun might have malfunctioned due to a possible modification.
However, a new expert examination has cast doubt on the actor’s account.
“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,” stated the report, led by Lucien Haag of Arizona’s Forensic Science Services.
The report said the 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”.
It added: “The only conceivable alternative to the foregoing would be a situation in which the trigger was already pulled or held rearward while retracting the hammer to its full cock position.”
Images of Baldwin with his finger apparently on the trigger during a previous rehearsal were provided with the report.
Experts used replacement parts to reassemble the gun for their tests after some pieces were broken during a previous FBI examination.
The new analysis was disclosed by a lawyer for Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the weapons supervisor for the film, who’s due to stand trial in December having denied involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering.
Her lawyer, Jason Bowles, said it supported the theory that the gun hadn’t been modified.
Baldwin’s lawyers and publicist have not commented on the development.
Special prosecutor Kari Morrissey said an announcement on whether to refile any charges against Baldwin would be taken, but didn’t say when.