Alec Baldwin could, once again, face manslaughter charges after a study proved he pulled the trigger on the gun that killed 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Back in October 2021, during a camera rehearsal on the Western Rust, the film’s star, Alec Baldwin, accidentally shot and killed Hutchins. The gun he was holding, an old Colt .45, was supposed to be loaded with dummy rounds that would not fire, not even blanks. Somehow, a live round found its way into the firearm. Hutchins was killed, and the director was injured.
After a lengthy investigation, New Mexico prosecutors filed manslaughter charges against Baldwin and the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. Assistant director David Halls, who reportedly handed the gun to Baldwin without checking it, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon in March. He was sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation, a $500 fine, 24 hours of community service, and required to take a gun safety course.
Over the last few days and in preparation for the May 3, 2023, preliminary hearing, new facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis in the case against Alexander “Alec” Rae Baldwin, III. Consequently, we cannot proceed under the current time constraints and on the facts and evidence turned over by law enforcement in its existing form. We therefore will be dismissing the involuntary manslaughter charges against Mr. Baldwin to conduct further investigation. This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled. Our follow-up investigation will remain active and on-going.
Apparently, that “further investigation and forensic analysis” involved Baldwin’s ridiculous claim the gun went off without him pulling the trigger.
In December 2021, Baldwin stupidly sat down for a lengthy interview with ABC News. Here’s how he explained what happened to George Stephanopoulos…
“[Hutchins is] guiding me through how she wants me to hold the gun for this angle,” Baldwin said. “I’m holding the gun where she told me to hold it, which ended up being aimed right below her armpit. So, I take the gun, and I start to cock the gun. I’m not going to pull the trigger,” he added. “And I cock the gun; I go, ‘Can you see that? Can you see that? Can you see that?’ And then I let go of the gun’s hammer, and the gun goes off.”
I let go of the gun’s hammer, and the gun goes off.
Although I’ve never believed and still don’t believe Baldwin should face criminal charges, at the time, I found Baldwin’s claim ridiculous, if not a flat-out lie. Guns do not go off without someone pulling the trigger.
Well, it took almost two years, but a forensic investigation of the firearm has now concluded the same:
The experts reconstructed the gun, which had been broken during earlier testing by the FBI, and concluded that it could only have been fired by a pull of the trigger.
“This fatal incident was the consequence of the hammer being manually retracted to its fully rearward and cocked position followed, at some point, by the pull or rearward depression of the trigger,” the report concluded. “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.”
“If it is determined that the gun did not malfunction, charges against Mr. Baldwin will proceed,” [prosecutors] wrote in a filing in June.
The only possible way to fire a gun without pulling the trigger is to pull back the hammer, release it, and have it snap against the bullet. BUT… In order to do that without manually pulling back the trigger, the gun would have to be defective beyond any practical use. Baldwin’s Colt .45 was obviously a working gun, but as he pulled back the hammer, the sears immediately clicked into place, ensuring the hammer could not snap loose and fire the round without depressing the trigger. That’s why a pistol click-click-click-clicks as the hammer is pulled back. Those clicks are the sears locking into place to ensure there’s no misfire if your thumb slips off the hammer. You MUST pull the trigger to release the sears that allow the hammer to spring forward and fire the cartridge.
Prosecutors say an announcement about refiling charges against Baldwin (or not) will be forthcoming.