In a dramatic turn of events, Alec Baldwin is poised to skate as prosecutors in New Mexico are reportedly dropping criminal charges against the Hollywood celebrity in the fatal Rust shooting case.
Recently appointed special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis are expected to file papers shortly to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter claims against Alec Baldwin without prejudice, according to multiple reports, with Deadline first reporting the news on Thursday.
“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,” Baldwin attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro told Deadline.
The filing “without prejudice” means prosecutors could theoretically resurrect the case at some point in the future.
Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is still facing criminal charges in the case, according to Deadline.
Baldwin had pleaded not guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charges brought by New Mexico prosecutors. The actor was facing the possibility of spending a maximum of 18 months in prison if found guilty on the involuntary manslaughter charge without a firearm enhancement.
As Breitbart News reported, Baldwin was no longer facing the prospect of spending five years in jail after prosecutors in New Mexico downgraded the charges against him. Prosecutors removed the weapons enhancement charge against him — which carried a maximum sentence of five years — after the actor’s lawyers successfully argued that the applicable law went into effect after the on-set shooting accident.
Last month, a special prosecutor on the case stepped down after Baldwin’s legal team sought to disqualify the Republican.
Rust has reportedly re-commenced production in Montana this week, with Baldwin expected to return to complete the movie.
Filming had been halted since the fatal on-set mishap in late 2021 when Baldwin allegedly discharged a prop gun that resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Alec Baldwin still faces multiple civil lawsuits related to the on-set shooting death.