Alec Baldwin and his attorneys have celebrated the news that the charges against him in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins have been withdrawn, but it appears that these celebrations will be short-lived.
“We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic incident,” the attorneys said.
Special prosecutors Jason Lewis and Kari Morrissey stated Thursday that this is not the end of the story and that Baldwin has not been cleared.
“Over the last few days and in preparation for a 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,” the prosecutors said.
“Consequently, we cannot proceed under the current time constraints and on the facts and evidence turned over by law enforcement in its existing form,” the pair said.
The prosecutors are dismissing the charges so that they can “conduct further investigation.”
“This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled,” the prosecutors said. “Our follow-up investigation will remain active and ongoing.”
— MaryCarmackAltwies (@MaryCarmackAltw) April 21, 2023
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Baldwin’s lawyers recently presented evidence to the prosecutors that influenced their decision to dismiss the charges. The evidence indicated that the Colt.45 had been modified prior to the shooting, making it more difficult for the District Attorney to prove that Baldwin pulled the trigger.
The district attorney will dismiss the charges “without prejudice,” meaning the case could be refiled at a later date, possibly with a lesser charge. Morrissey and Lewis said in their statement that as they prepared for a preliminary hearing in the last few days, “new facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis.”
The allegations against Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer on set, have not been dropped.
“The new special prosecutor team has taken a very diligent and thorough approach to the entire investigation, which we welcome and have always welcomed,” her attorneys said.
“They are seeking the truth and we are also. The truth about what happened will come out and the questions that we have long sought answers to will be answered. We fully expect at the end of this process that Hannah will also be exonerated,” the attorneys said.
In a new court filing in March, Baldwin’s counsel claimed that New Mexico state Rep. Andrea Reeb violated Baldwin’s constitutional rights by using her public statements to advance her career. Last week, the state representative recused herself from the case after it was argued that she could not simultaneously exercise judicial and legislative authority.
ABC News reported: “In a motion filed on Tuesday withdrawing their now-moot Feb. 7 motion to disqualify Reeb, Baldwin’s attorneys outlined a series of concerns they had over-reported private and public statements made by the Santa Fe district attorney’s office and Reeb. The actor faces two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of Hutchins. When the district attorney’s office announced last year that Reeb would join the team investigating the October 2021 on-set shooting, Reeb was a candidate for the New Mexico House of Representatives. Baldwin’s motion this week cites a New York Times report published on Tuesday on a private email exchange between Reeb and Santa Fe County district attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, calling it ‘yet another troubling development’ in the state’s prosecution.”
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