Last year, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed on the set of the film Rust. On Thursday, ALEC BALDWIN was charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting.
On Thursday, the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced charges related to the shooting that occurred in October of 2021. The film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will also be charged with involuntary manslaughter, and first assistant director David Halls was charged with negligent use of a lethal weapon; Halls has already decided to plead guilty to that allegation.
“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 against Alec Baldwin and other members of the ‘Rust’ film crew,” New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a statement. “On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”
NEW: Alec Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins; The film’s armorer faces the same charge. First assistant director David Halls has already pleaded guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon. https://t.co/oZwewhJmaI
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 19, 2023
“If any one of these three people—Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, or David Halls—had done their job, Halyna Hutchins would be alive today. It’s that simple,” Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor appointed by the DA to the case, added.
“The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the Rust film set. In New Mexico, there is no room for film sets that don’t take our state’s commitment to gun safety and public safety seriously.”
According to the District Attorney’s Office, both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be “‘charged in the alternative’ with the two counts of manslaughter, meaning that a jury would decide not simply if they were guilty, but under which definition of involuntary manslaughter they were guilty.” If found guilty of just involuntary manslaughter, a fourth-degree felony, both would face up to 18 months in prison.
However, if found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, which includes a “firearm enhancement” on the charge, the punishment is a mandatory five-year prison sentence.
When the charges are formally filed later this month, the District Attorney’s Office said the defendants could show up virtually for the first hearing and the defendants would be served with a summons.
Seriously? Involuntary manslaughter doesn't require intentional action, but unless they developed a lot of information that we didn't know when this first happened, this charge seems pretty dubious.https://t.co/FXtZyPHN2r
— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) January 19, 2023
On October 21, 2021, Hutchins was shot and died during a dress rehearsal for the film Rust, with director Joel Souza also receiving injuries. Baldwin accidentally shot himself in the foot when he fired a pretend gun containing a real bullet. The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have both opened investigations into the case.
In addition, the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney’s Office had been conducting its own investigations, and its recent behavior suggested that it was getting ready to press charges. The New Mexican reported on September 23 that the state Board of Finance has granted the DA’s office roughly $317,000 (out of a proposed $635,000) to prosecute anyone involved in the incident.
District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies refused to comment on who might be charged with a crime at the time, but Baldwin was listed as one of “the probable defendants” in the initial appeal for financial support.