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Alec Baldwin faces manslaughter charge in Rust shooting

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Baldwin has repeatedly said he was told by crew that the gun was not loaded.

The former 30 Rock star has also previously said he did not pull the trigger, though experts have cast doubt on this claim.

Baldwin’s lawyer Luke Nikas vowed to beat the charge, which he called a “terrible miscarriage of justice”.

“Mr Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set,” Nikas said. “He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”

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Assistant director David Halls, who handed Baldwin the weapon and told him it was “cold” – industry speak for safe – has agreed to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon. He will serve a suspended sentence and six months of probation, a statement said.

No charges will be filed over the injury to Souza.

A lengthy investigation has looked at how the live round – and five others – got onto the New Mexico film set, with attention focused on the armourer and ammunition supplier.

A vigil is held for cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in October 2021. Photo: AP

A vigil is held for cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in October 2021. Photo: AP

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Investigators found Gutierrez Reed had put the fatal round in Baldwin’s gun, instead of using a similar-looking dummy round.

Detectives probing the tragedy spoke of a lax attitude to safety on the set, and crew members have subsequently claimed that corners were cut.

The accident sent shock waves through Hollywood and led to calls for a total ban on the use of real guns on set.

Industry experts have said there are already stringent safety rules in place and that the only way for an accident like this to have happened was for them to have been ignored.

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Baldwin last year reached an undisclosed settlement with the family of 42-year-old Hutchins.

It was also announced at the time that production on the low-budget movie would restart this year.

Widower Matthew Hutchins, who will become an executive producer, said “all the original principal players” would return to the set.

Souza said he would devote his work on the film “to honouring Halyna’s legacy and making her proud”.

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