SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Accused of involuntary manslaughter, Alec Baldwin has entered a plea of not guilty in the case tied to the 2021 film set shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Meanwhile, the actor-producer has also waived his right to his first court hearing in the criminal case.
Baldwin’s attorneys made the filing in Santa Fe District Court Thursday, just one day before Baldwin was slated to appear before Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer for a “first appearance.” The previously scheduled hearing was slated to take place remotely, via video link.
The October 2021 shooting happened as Baldwin was rehearsing for a scene at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe. Hutchins was killed after being hit by a bullet that fired from a gun Baldwin was handling. The film’s director Joel Souza was also injured in the shooting.
According to newly filed court documents, Judge Marlowe Sommer has agreed to allow Baldwin to remain out of jail on release while the case awaits trial. Some of his conditions of release include no possession of firearms, no alcohol consumption and to maintain contact with his attorney.
Acknowledging the continued production on the film ‘Rust,’ the judge also included a special order among Baldwin’s conditions of release, allowing the actor to have contact with potential witnesses in limited capacity. ‘Rust’ is now slated to resume filming in the spring at Yellowstone Film Ranch in Montana.
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According to the order, Baldwin is allowed to speak with potential witnesses “in connection with complete the ‘Rust’ movie and other related and unrelated business matters.” However, the judge says Baldwin “is not permitted to discuss the accident at issue, or the substance of his or the witnesses’ potentially testimony in the case.”
The judge is also permitting Baldwin to continue working with his agent, Matthew DelPiano. According to the order, Baldwin is only allowed to talk about the accident “with witnesses who are named as civil co-defendants only so long as such conversations are held exclusively in the presence of attorney for civil litigation purposes.”
It’s unclear when Baldwin will appear in court next. So far, no future court dates have been set.
As of Thursday afternoon, the armorer on “Rust,” Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is still expected to appear before a judge in a virtual “first appearance” hearing on Friday. She is also facing one count of involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, the fourth-degree felony charge is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and up to a $5000 fine.
The film’s assistant director David Halls is expected in court in March. Halls is slated to take a plea deal on a lesser misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon (unsafe handling.)