Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin could be recharged following a fatal shooting on the set of Rust in 2021, prosecutors say.
In April, prosecutors dismissed charges against the Emmy award-winning actor, just two weeks before an involuntary manslaughter trial was due to start. But “additional facts” merit bringing the case again before a grand jury next month, they said.
Lawyers for Baldwin criticised the investigators for being “misguided,” reports the BBC. They said: “It is unfortunate that a terrible tragedy has been turned into this misguided prosecution.
“We will answer any charges in court.”
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Baldwin had been practising firing a gun the set of the film Rust at a ranch near Santa Fe when it went off. It struck and fatally injured 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.
The actor told investigators at the time that he pulled back the hammer of the pistol, but did not pull the trigger. Charges were then dropped six months ago after reports the .45 Colt revolver had been modified with a new trigger, which could make a misfire more likely.
Investigators then had the replica gun forensically tested after parts were allegedly broken during the FBI’s tests. They now say there was no way for the gun to fire without the trigger being pulled.
The special prosecutors leading the case, Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis, said in a statement sent to BBC News on Tuesday: “After extensive investigation over the past several months, additional facts have come to light.
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“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,” they added.
In an interview with the New York Times on Tuesday, Morrissey said “the forensic testing of the gun concluded with certainty that the trigger of the gun had to have been pulled for the gun to go off”.
She said prosecutors intend to begin presenting their case to a grand jury next month. The film’s armourer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, faces two counts of involuntary manslaughter.
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