The expert determined that Baldwin must have pulled the trigger. The April charges against Baldwin were dropped because it was discovered that the weapon had been modified. However, new findings could lead up to additional charges.
Baldwin has denied firing the gun for years.
Baldwin claims that, since the October 2021 fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins the cinematographer in which she was killed, he pulled back the hammer and let it go right before the gun fired, claiming that he didn’t pull the trigger. The revolver, which was meant to be filled with inert cartridges to make it look loaded on camera, actually had a live round.
Joel Souza, the director of the movie, was also injured in the shooting.
Lucien C. Haag, a forensics expert, found that despite Baldwin’s denials the Pietta revolver was only capable of being fired by someone who applied around two pounds to the trigger.
Mr. Haag’s report was made public after a request for records. “Although Alec Baldwin has repeatedly denied pulling the trigger, given these tests, findings, and observations, it is clear that the trigger must have been pulled or depressed to release the fully-cocked hammer or retracted hammer on the evidence revolver,” he wrote. The report also contained photos of Mr. Baldwin holding a revolver earlier in the filming process, showing the actor’s finger near or on the trigger.
Kari Morrissey, a special prosecutor in the case of Baldwin, said on Wednesday that she is considering new charges against him but that no final decision had been made. The FBI inspected the gun in 2022 and reached the same conclusion.
The FBI’s forensics report, released in August 2022, echoes the findings of the new report.
ABC News obtained a report that said the FBI conducted an accidental discharge test. The FBI found the gun used to shoot Hutchins could not fire without pulling the trigger.
Halyna H. Hutchins
Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer who was on set that day and loaded the revolver, has been charged with involuntary murder and evidence tampering. She has pleaded guilty and will be tried in December.
Baldwin’s behavior has been questionable ever since the shooting. He has repeatedly portrayed himself as the innocent victim and has at times shown a shocking callousness toward the families of the victims.
Will this new report be enough to allow prosecutors to continue with the case? Baldwin’s attorneys have insisted that the modified gun makes it impossible to prove whether he actually fired it. Miguel Custodio, a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, doesn’t believe the evidence to be very compelling.
The expert’s report helps the prosecution’s cause a little. It is problematic, however, that he was forced to rebuild the gun using new parts.
Alec Baldwin can easily claim that the FBI ruined his gun by tinkering around with it. “Putting it back together doesn’t prove a thing.” It’s true that you can have problems whenever you change evidence.
Baldwin’s denials will become more problematic as more evidence is presented.