Alec Baldwin charged

In connection with the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust last year, Alec Baldwin was charged on Thursday with involuntary manslaughter.

The New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced charges related to the incident in October 2021 on Thursday after a thorough investigation. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the movie’s armorer, will also be charged with involuntary manslaughter in addition to Baldwin, while David Halls, the first assistant director, was charged with careless use of a deadly weapon; Halls has already decided to enter a guilty plea on that charge.

Alec Baldwin and other members of the “Rust” film crew should face criminal charges, according to the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies. “After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges,” she said. No one is above the law and everyone deserves justice under my watch.

“Halyna Hutchins would still be alive today if any one of these three individuals—Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, or David Halls—had carried out their duties. That’s all there is to it, said Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor assigned to the case by the DA. On the Rust movie set, there was a pattern of criminal disregard for safety, according to the evidence. Film sets that don’t take our state’s commitment to public safety and gun safety seriously have no place in New Mexico.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will both be “‘charged in the alternative’ with the two counts of manslaughter, meaning that a jury would decide not merely whether they were guilty, but under which definition of involuntary manslaughter they were guilty,” according to the District Attorney’s Office. Both might spend up to 18 months in jail if found guilty of simply involuntary manslaughter, a fourth-degree felony. The punishment is a required five-year prison term if the defendant is found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a legal act, which includes a “firearm enhancement” on the offense.

The District Attorney’s Office stated that the defendants might virtually attend the hearing; the charges will formally be filed later this month, at which point each defendant will get a summons to appear at the first hearing.

On October 21, 2021, Hutchins died and Rust director Joel Souza suffered injuries during a rehearsal. Baldwin accidentally fired a pretend gun that was loaded with a real cartridge, which led to the event. Numerous government organizations, including the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, have conducted investigations into the incident.

Additionally undertaking its own investigations, the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney’s Office appeared to be preparing to press charges based on previous activities. The state Board of Finance gave the district attorney’s office more than $317,000 (out of a proposed $635,000) to prosecute those involved in the shooting, according to an article from The New Mexican from back on September 23. Despite the fact that Baldwin was listed as one of “the probable defendants” in the first funding request, District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies declined to identify at the time who would be prosecuted.

Despite the fact that these are the first criminal accusations in connection with Hutchins’ death, the shooting has already given rise to numerous civil actions (as well as some fines). The Hutchins family, in particular, sued Baldwin, Rust producer Ryan Donnell Smith, new armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, assistant director Dave Halls, prop master Sarah Zachary, and “armorer mentor” Seth Kenney for Hutchins’ wrongful death.

“Halyna Hutchins deserved to live and the Defendants had the power to prevent her death if they had only held sacrosanct their duty to protect the safety of every individual on a set where firearms were present instead of rushing to stay on schedule, cutting corners on safety procedures where human lives were at stake, and ignoring numerous complaints of safety violations,” the Hutchins family lawsuit stated in part. (In a petition this past March, Baldwin sought that the wrongful death lawsuit be submitted to arbitration and denied being at fault for Hutchins’ death.)