Alec Baldwin will not be charged with shooting the director of Rust, Joel Souza, according to reports.
The actor, 64, was recently charged with involuntary manslaughter over the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died on set of the movie in October 2021.
However, it has been reported that the American star will not be charged with the shooting of Souza, although he was hit by the same bullet that killed Hutchins.
According to TMZ, the reason for this is there is reportedly “no crime” as far as the shooting of Souza is concerned.
The outlet has said according to information obtained from the Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office, the only way to characterise the shooting of Souza is an “unintentional battery,” and no such thing exists.
The publication claims that the D.A. added that Baldwin had no intention to hurt anyone.
Last week, it was announced that both Baldwin and the film’s armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will be charged with involuntary manslaughter over the death of Ms Hutchins on the film’s Santa Fe set.
In a statement, District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said: “After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the Rust film crew.
“On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”
It comes less than three months after the District Attorney’s office received the final report from the police into the incident which led to the death of Ms Hutchins after a prop gun held by Baldwin was discharged.
Assistant director David Halls has signed a plea agreement for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon.
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be “charged in the alternative” with the two counts of manslaughter, meaning that a jury would decide not simply if they were guilty, but under which definition of involuntary manslaughter they were guilty, the DA’s office said.
The first charge can be referred to as involuntary manslaughter and requires proof of underlying negligence.
This charge also includes the misdemeanour charge of negligent use of a firearm, which would likely merge as a matter of law.
The second charge is involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, which requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in a death.
Under New Mexico law, both charges are a fourth-degree felony and are punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a 5,000 dollar (£4,000) fine.
The second charge includes a firearm enhancement, or added mandatory penalty, which makes the crime punishable by a mandatory five years in jail. Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas said the DA’s decision to bring charges against his client “distorts” Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and “represents a terrible miscarriage of justice”.
“Mr Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set”, he added.
“He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.” In a statement, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys asserted her innocence in the fatal shooting.
“Hannah is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident,” the statement said. “But she did not commit involuntary manslaughter”.
They added: “These charges are the result of a very flawed investigation, and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts.
“We intend to bring the full truth to light and believe Hannah will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury.”