Why Was Alec Baldwin’s Manslaughter Charge Dropped?

In a surprising development in the Rust tragedy that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead after an accidental shooting, prosecutors have dropped the criminal charges against Alec Baldwin. The actor was the one holding the gun when it fired, but he maintains that he did not pull the trigger. While an investigation proved otherwise, there were a myriad of safety failures leading up to the shooting, and for now, Baldwin is no longer being charged for involuntary manslaughter. However, that could change.

According to a statement from the special prosecutors, “new facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis.”

Via CBS News:

Those new facts were discovered over “the last few days” while preparing for a preliminary hearing that was scheduled for May 3, the special 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. We therefore will be dismissing the involuntary manslaughter charges against Mr. Baldwin to conduct further investigation.”

The special prosecutors made it a point to note that Baldwin isn’t off the hook. “This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled.”

The statement also confirmed that the involuntary manslaughter charges against Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed remain in place.

(Via CBS News)