Baldwin had been criminally charged over the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
In a dramatic turn of events, Alec Baldwin's criminal charges stemming from the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of his western film, Rust, have been dismissed, according to his attorneys.
In a statement to ET, the embattled actor's lawyers -- Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro -- said they are "pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin." The lawyers added, "We encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident."
In a statement to ET, special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis explained why they decided to drop the charges against Baldwin.
"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," the statement read. "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."
The statement concluded that "charges against [Rust armorer] Hannah Gutierrez-Reed remain unchanged."
The startling development comes less than a month after the D.A.'s office appointed Morrisey and Lewis as special prosecutors, replacing Mary Carmack-Altwies.
The development also comes on the same day the Western film was scheduled to resume principal photography at Yellowstone Film Ranch, and a year and a half after the fatal shooting of Hutchins, which triggered mounting legal trouble for Baldwin, who in January was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter after the gun he was holding on set discharged, killing Hutchins and wounding the film's director, Joel Souza. Baldwin pleaded not guilty to the charges and has repeatedly insisted he did not pull the trigger on the prop gun.
The film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, also was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. In a statement to ET, her lawyers, Jason Bowles and Todd Bullion, said, "The new special prosecutor team has taken a very diligent and thorough approach to the entire investigation, which we welcome and have always welcomed. 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 for will be answered. We fully expect at the end of this process that Hannah will also be exonerated."
In October, Baldwin and Hutchins' estate settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the actor. As part of the settlement, it was noted that Rust would resume filming with Hutchins' husband, Matthew Hutchins, joining the production as an executive producer. Baldwin still faces a number of lawsuits stemming from the shooting, including from Hutchins' family.