Alec Baldwin Pleads Not Guilty to New “Rust” Charges

Baldwin is facing criminal charges again in relation to the fatal 2021 'Rust' shooting after they were previously dropped in April 2023

<p>John Lamparski/Getty</p> Alec Baldwin

John Lamparski/Getty

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin pleaded not guilty to a new charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the fatal 2021 Rust shooting.

Baldwin, 65, entered his plea Wednesday as he waived his right to an arraignment, according to New Mexico court documents. He filed the documents in Santa Fe County court the day before his scheduled arraignment. after he was indicted by a New Mexico grand jury in relation to the shooting for a second time on Jan. 19.

According to the court docs, Baldwin has been released on his personal recognizance. As part of the conditions of his release, Baldwin must obey all local, state and federal laws, may not possess a firearm or dangerous weapon, may not consume drugs or alcohol and may not leave the country without written permission from the court.

The court has allowed him to promote Rust but he may not discuss the accident with anyone on production who may testify or the alleged victim(s).

The actor was previously charged with involuntary manslaughter in January 2023 before the criminal case against him was delayed when charges were dropped three months later; he now faces charges of involuntary manslaughter (negligent use of a firearm) or alternatively, involuntary manslaughter (without due caution or circumspection).

Related: How Can Alec Baldwin Be Charged Again for the Shooting of Halyna Hutchins? A Legal Expert Explains

<p>Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic</p> Alec Baldwin

Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic

Alec Baldwin

Baldwin could face up to 18 months in prison if convicted under this new charge, according to New Mexico law. The actor's lawyers Alex Spiro and Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, previously said, "We look forward to our day in court," in response to his indictment on Jan. 19.

The actor was holding a prop gun in 2021 on the set of the forthcoming Western Rust when it discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. Baldwin has repeatedly maintained that he did not know the gun mistakenly contained a live bullet, and also claimed he did not pull the trigger.

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SAG-AFTRA has publicly defended Baldwin after the latest charges were filed against him.

"To the extent that the charges filed on January 19 are based on an accusation of negligent use of a firearm predicated on this or any actor having a duty to inspect a firearm as part of its use, that is an incorrect assessment of the actual duties of an actor on set," the union shared in a statement released Thursday.

"An actor’s job is not to be a firearms or weapons expert," the statement added. "Firearms are provided for use on set under the guidance of multiple expert professionals directly responsible for the safe and accurate operation of that firearm."

Related: Alec Baldwin and Wife Hilaria Find New Rust Shooting Charge 'Very Stressful,' Source Says (Exclusive)

<p>James Devaney/GC Images</p> Alec Baldwin

James Devaney/GC Images

Alec Baldwin

Hutchins' family's attorney Gloria Allred offered a response to SAG-AFTRA's statement last Thursday, in which she said the idea that an actor is not responsible for discharging a weapon on a movie set "flies in the face of common sense and the law."

"Safety protocols may be considered at trial, but they are not the law," she said in a statement. "This indictment was the result of a careful assessment by the grand jury of all the facts and the law. It is important to respect the grand jury’s decision to indict, and to allow the criminal justice system to proceed to trial where the case will be decided on its merits."

Aside from Baldwin, Rust on-set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was also previously charged with involuntary manslaughter. She entered a not guilty plea in August and is set to stand trial in February.

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