A US judge has granted Alec Baldwin permission not to appear in court for the preliminary hearing relating to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Baldwin and armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed have pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter in the 2021 death of Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust.
The cinematographer died after being hit with a live round fired from a prop gun held by Baldwin.
During the two-week preliminary hearing, due to begin on 3 May, it will be decided whether there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial.
A waiver of appearance was filed by Baldwin and his legal team, and approved by Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer on Monday.
“I understand that I am charged with the following offence or offences under the law of the State of New Mexico: Involuntary Manslaughter … in two alternatives,” the filing read.
“I understand that I am entitled to personally appear before the court at every stage of the criminal proceedings.
“After reading and understanding the above, I request that the court permit me to waive a personal appearance in court for the following proceedings: preliminary hearing.”
The news comes after the New Mexico district attorney overseeing the case said she would follow a judge’s order to step down as a prosecutor.
Baldwin’s attorney had previously called for Carmack-Altwies to be disqualified from the case, claiming as she was too distracted by her role as a state legislator.
Mary Carmack-Altwies announced the appointment of lawyers Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis to serve as new special prosecutors in the case.
Additional reporting from PA