Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty to new charges in 'Rust' film set shooting case

Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges over the death of a young woman who was fatally shot on the set of a budget Western, US court documents showed Wednesday.

Baldwin, a producer and star of the film, was charged last month for his role in the 2021 death of Halyna Hutchins during the filming of period piece "Rust" in New Mexico.

He was holding a Colt .45 when it discharged, killing Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

Baldwin has repeatedly denied responsibility, insisting he did not pull the trigger on the gun, which should not have been loaded with a live round.

The incident sent shockwaves through Hollywood, and led to calls for a tightening of the rules around the use of firearms on movie sets.

But it also led to accusations of sloppy management, with some in the industry saying regulations were already tight, and that they had simply not been properly followed during the making of "Rust."

Baldwin's lawyers Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro have filed a request for a quick trial in order to "minimise public vilification and suspicion and to avoid the hazards of proving his innocence that often arise after a lengthy delay in prosecution.

Baldwin had been due to appear virtually in the New Mexico court on Thursday for an arraignment, but his lawyers submitted a waiver that also contained his plea of not guilty.

Initial manslaughter charges against 65-year-old Baldwin were dropped in April last year, due to what prosecutors called "new facts" that demanded "further investigation and forensic analysis."


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