Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty in fatal 'Rust' shooting

Alec Baldwin pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Baldwin entered his plea on Thursday, waiving his right to a first appearance in court, according to documents obtained by Fox News Digital. 

The "30 Rock" actor was set to appear in court Friday at 12 p.m. EST.

His conditions of release prohibit him from possessing firearms or other dangerous weapons. The actor is also not allowed to consume alcohol, which should not affect Baldwin, who has been sober since 1985.

Baldwin's contact with potential witnesses in the "Rust" case is limited as well, and he is not allowed to discuss the incident with them. He is only allowed to contact them in the capacity of related or unrelated business matters pertaining to finishing the filming of the movie, according to the documents.

"Related business matters" refers to finishing the film, promoting the film and other activities, while "unrelated business matters" refers to other business-type relationships Baldwin may have with witnesses.

Representatives for Baldwin did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.

Baldwin's decision to waive his first appearance comes after a victory in the legal case.

On Friday, prosecutors chose to drop the firearms enhancement that had been tacked onto one of the actor's involuntary manslaughter charges.

His lawyers argued the enhancement was a "basic legal error" made by the prosecution, explaining that the law did not exist when the shooting took place.

The prosecution claimed the enhancement had been dropped to "avoid further litigious distractions" in the case.

"In order to avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys, the District Attorney and the special prosecutor have removed the firearm enhancement to the involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the 'Rust' film set," Heather Brewer, spokesperson for the district attorney, told Fox News Digital. "The prosecution's priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys."

Baldwin's attorneys have also requested the special prosecutor be removed from the case.

The legal team previously argued that Andrea Reeb could not simultaneously serve as the special prosecutor and as a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives.

"Doing so vests two core powers of different branches — legislating and prosecuting — in the same person and is thus barred by the plain language of Article III of the New Mexico Constitution," the legal documents read.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer granted the prosecution extended time to respond to the motion regarding the special prosecutor on Friday.

Hutchins died Oct. 21, 2021, after a gun Baldwin was holding fired on the set of "Rust" in New Mexico. The shot also injured director Joel Souza.

Prosecutors laid out their case against Baldwin in specific detail in the probable cause statement released Jan. 31 and obtained by Fox News Digital.

"Baldwin's deviation from known standards, practice and protocol directly caused the fatal death of Hutchins," the documents state. 

"By not receiving the required training on firearms, not checking the firearm with the armorer, letting the armorer leave the firearms in the church without being present, deviating from the practice of only accepting the firearm from the armorer, not dealing with the safety complaints on set and/or making sure safety meetings were held, putting his finger on the trigger of a real firearm when a replica or rubber gun should have been used, pointing the firearms at Hutchins and Souza, and the overall handling of the firearms in a negligent manner, Baldwin acted with willful disregard for the safety of others and in a manner which endangered other people, specifically Hutchins and Souza."

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