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‘We look forward to our day in court,’ lawyers for Alec Baldwin replied on Friday

A grand jury in New Mexico has charged Alec Baldwin with a fresh count of involuntary manslaughter over a fatal movie set shooting in October 2021.

Previous charges against the Emmy award-winning actor were dropped last April, just two weeks before a criminal trial against him was due to begin.

Local prosecutors have since shared “additional facts” from forensic tests on the weapon used in the shooting.

Attorneys for Mr Baldwin told the BBC: “We look forward to our day in court.”

Mr Baldwin, 65, was practicing firing a Colt .45 pistol before filming a scene for Rust, an upcoming Western film shot near Santa Fe, in October 2021.

But the gun went off, fatally striking 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

The actor has maintained he did not pull the trigger and only drew back the hammer of the pistol.

He has also argued he is not at fault for Ms Hutchins’ death because he did not know the weapon contained live rounds and because no live ammunition was supposed to be on set.

But special prosecutors in New Mexico said in October that they had commissioned forensic experts to reconstruct the weapon, after it had been broken during FBI testing.

They said doing so revealed that the incident could only have taken place if the trigger had been pulled.

“Although Alec Baldwin repeatedly denies pulling the trigger, given the tests, findings and observations reported here, the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver,” their report concluded.

The new evidence was brought to a grand jury of 12 beginning on Thursday, with a requirement for at least eight to agree on probable cause for new charges.

Their one-count indictment was issued on Friday under two alternative legal theories – that Mr Baldwin was either negligent in his use of a firearm or that he acted with “total disregard or indifference for the safety of others”.

Prosecutors have indicated that he can only be convicted on one of these theories, not both. If convicted, he faces up to 18 months in prison.

An attorney representing Ms Hutchins’ family said it was “looking forward to the criminal trial”.

“Our clients have always sought the truth about what happened on the day that Halyna Hutchins was tragically shot and killed,” Gloria Allred said in a statement.

“They continue to seek the truth in our civil lawsuit for them and they also would like there [sic] to be accountability in the criminal justice system.”

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16 August 2023