New Mexico prosecutors on Tuesday said they intended to recharge actor Alec Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in 2021, .
Baldwin’s case will be brought before a grand jury, special prosecutor Kari Morrissey said.
The move followed results of an independent forensic test that said Baldwin had to have pulled the trigger of a revolver he was rehearsing with for it to fire the live round that killed Hutchins.
The finding was the same as a previous FBI test on the firearm.
“After extensive investigation over the past several months, additional facts have come to light that we believe show Mr. Baldwin has criminal culpability in the death of Halyna Hutchins and the shooting of Joel Souza,” Morrissey and Jason Lewis said in a statement. “We believe the appropriate course of action is to permit a panel of New Mexico citizens to determine from here whether Mr. Baldwin should be held over for criminal trial.”
Baldwin has said he is not responsible for Hutchins’ death and he did not pull the trigger.
“It is unfortunate that a terrible tragedy has been turned into this misguided prosecution. We will answer any charges in court,” Luke Nikas, an attorney for Baldwin, said in a statement.
The “30 Rock” actor was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter in January for Hutchins’ death, along with the movie’s chief weapons handler Hannah Gutierrez, who faces a 2024 trial.
Prosecutors dismissed the charges against Baldwin in April after new evidence emerged that the gun he used may have been modified, allowing it to fire without the trigger being pulled.
Morrissey said at the time that if new testing of the gun showed it was working, she would recharge Baldwin.
Prosecutors often use grand juries as they are an easier means to prove probable cause and proceed to trial than filing a criminal complaint that can be probed by defense lawyers at a preliminary hearing, legal experts say.