Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter over Rust killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Alec Baldwin will face charges of involuntary manslaughter for shooting cinematographer Halyna Hutchins with a prop gun on a film set. Hutchins was killed instantly.
When the filming for the Western Rust took place in October 2021 at a ranch near Sante Fe, New Mexico, Mr. Baldwin had been practicing a scene.
Hannah Gutierrez Reed,The film’s armorer, will also be charged.
Both parties indicated that they planned to fight the charges in court.
The charges were announced on Thursday by Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, who also stated that they would be filed by the end of the month.
The statement stated that “Armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed and actor and producer Alec Baldwin will each be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.” I’ve found that there is enough evidence.”
She stated, “No one is above the law on my watch, and everyone deserves justice.”
If found guilty, each faces up to 18 months in prison and a fine of $5,000 (£4,044). Prosecutors stated that a jury will decide their fate.
The shooting also injured film director Joel Souza, but prosecutors said no charges would be brought against him.
According to prosecutors, assistant director David Halls pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon and to be on probation for six months.
Matthew Hutchins’s attorney said, “I support the filing of the charges,” in a statement. “The fact that in New Mexico no one is above the law is a comfort to the family,” he stated.
Luke Nikas, Mr. Baldwin’s attorney, however, referred to the decision as “a terrible miscarriage of justice.”
According to Mr. Nikas, “Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun” or anywhere else on the movie set. He put his trust in the professionals he worked with, who assured him that the gun did not have any live rounds in it. We will prevail in our fight against these charges.”
In the meantime, the attorney for Ms. Gutierrez Reed stated that the announcement was the result of a “very flawed investigation and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts.”
Todd Bullion stated, “Hannah is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident.” However, she did not kill someone voluntarily.”
After Mr. Baldwin shot Ms. Hutchins in the chest with a prop gun on set, she passed away in the hospital shortly thereafter. As a result of the incident, there were claims of negligence and calls for improved safety measures on film sets.
Producers were fined more than $136,000 by the New Mexico Environment Department for failing to enforce safety protocols after an initial investigation revealed “a degree of neglect.”
“Much less for supervising specific protocols such as the maintenance and loading of weapons,” Rust Movie Productions, the film’s production company argued, was not in charge of the set.
Mr. Baldwin claimed that the gun had failed to fire after the incident. He went on to say that he didn’t pull the trigger and didn’t know it was loaded. I have no idea what took place on that set. I have no idea how that bullet got into that gun. “I’m not sure,” he said.
Mr. Baldwin has also filed a lawsuit against Ms. Gutierrez Reed and Mr. Halls, two people who were involved in the film, claiming that they failed to thoroughly inspect the gun.
The 64-year-old actor Alec Baldwin and the film’s production company reached an undisclosed settlement with Ms. Hutchins’ family in October.
It came after the husband of the cinematographer filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming that industry standards had been broken.
Mr. Hutchins said in a statement at the time, “We believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident.” I have no interest in making excuses or placing blame on anyone.”
The film’s production was expected to resume this year, with Mr. Hutchins serving as executive producer.