A new report given to New Mexico prosecutors overseeing the fatal shooting on the Rust movie set appears to cast doubt on Alec Baldwin’s accounts of the incident.
Baldwin had repeatedly denied pulling the trigger of the prop gun that went off and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021.
Charges of involuntary manslaughter against the Hollywood star were formally dropped in April, though prosecutors said the decision did not “absolve Mr Baldwin of criminal culpability”.
They added that charges against the actor could still be refiled.
Court documents published on Tuesday cited a gun report by weapons experts Lucien Haag and Mike Haag.
According to the documents, prosecutors previously stated that they had information that there had been an alleged modification of the gun used by Baldwin on the Rust set.
Attorneys for Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who was also charged with involuntary manslaughter over the incident, said the Haags’ report “does not indicate any modification to the gun” and “specifies that the trigger had to be pulled”.
An excerpt of the report, included in the court documents, read: “Although Alec Baldwin repeatedly denies pulling the trigger, given the tests, findings and observations reported here, the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver.
“If the hammer had not been fully retracted to the rear, and were to slip from the handler’s thumb without the trigger depressed, the half cock or quarter cock notches in the hammer should have prevented the firing pin from reaching any cartridge in the firing chamber.
“If these features were somehow bypassed, a conspicuously off-center firing pin impression would result.”
Prosecutors have not indicated whether the findings of the report will result in charges against Baldwin being refiled.
Representatives for Baldwin said they had no comment at this time.