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Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty in movie set shooting

Actor Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter over the 2021 on-set shooting death of a cinematographer during filming of the western movie Rust in New Mexico.

Baldwin made the plea on Wednesday as he waived his right to an arraignment after he was indicted by a grand jury on January 19, court documents showed.

The 30 Rock star was allowed to remain free without posting bond under the arraignment waiver with the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe.

Baldwin was originally charged for the shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in January 2023. Those charges were dropped a few months later based on evidence the hammer of the revolver might have been modified, allowing it to fire without the trigger being pulled.

Alec Baldwin Set Shooting
Part of the Bonanza Creek Ranch film set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Rust was being filmed. (AP PHOTO)

The new charges came after an independent forensic test concluding that Baldwin would have had to have pulled the trigger of the revolver he was using in a rehearsal for it to fire the live round that struck Hutchins in the chest and killed her.

The finding was the same as a previous FBI test on the firearm.

Baldwin, the Emmy-winning performer, has denied pulling the trigger and said he was not responsible for the death of Hutchins.

The movie's director, Joel Souza, was struck and wounded in the shoulder by the same bullet that killed Hutchins during production of the film on a set outside Santa Fe. (Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico; Additional reporting by Brad Brooks in Longmont, Colorado; Editing by David Gregorio)