Prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis said that “new facts have been revealed in recent days that require further investigation and forensic analysis.” They did not explain what the “facts” were. The involuntary manslaughter charge against Baldwin should be dropped to allow time for the additional investigation.

“This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal liability,” prosecutors said. Morrissey and Lewis were first appointed as special prosecutors on the case in March.

The star’s attorneys announced Thursday they were dropping the charges and said they were “pleased” with the decision. “We encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident,” said Baldwin’s attorneys, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro.

Baldwin accidentally shot and killed 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins with a revolver during a rehearsal for low-budget western Rust in October 2021. The Colt .45 had been loaded with a real bullet; How this happened is still unclear.

Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter last January. If convicted of this offense, he faces up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Known for films such as ‘The Hunt for Red October’ and ‘The Temptation of Blondes’, the series ’30 Rock’ and also as a comedic impersonator of former US President Donald Trump, Baldwin has denied any responsibility for Hutchins’ death. He claims he had no way of knowing there was live ammunition in the Colt. In court, Baldwin pleaded not guilty.

The actor, who is one of the producers of “Rust”, had previously been handed the gun with the words that it was “cold” – i.e. not loaded with live ammunition.

There had been some difficulties in the previous investigations. The public prosecutor’s office had to weaken the charges against Baldwin in February for legal reasons. The question was whether aggravating circumstances could be asserted due to the use of a firearm. Ultimately, the prosecutor dropped that point. Baldwin’s lawyers had argued that no such law was in force at the time of the accident.

The suit also included on-set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors said Thursday the charges against her remain unchanged.

Assistant director Dave Halls, who handed the revolver to Baldwin, was given a six-month suspended sentence at the end of March for careless handling of a deadly weapon. He had previously pleaded guilty as part of an agreement with prosecutors.

Meanwhile, “Rust” is supposed to be finished. It was only on Tuesday that the production company Rust Movie Productions announced that filming should resume on Thursday.

Hutchins’ widower will be involved as a producer. That was part of an out-of-court settlement last February, in exchange for which Matthew Hutchins withdrew his civil suit. Other civil lawsuits are pending.