Actor Alec Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter over the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the film set for Rust.
Today, prosecutors in Santa Fe, New Mexico confirmed that Baldwin faces up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted. The actor will be tried by a jury.
The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is facing the same charge of involuntary manslaughter.
In addition to those charges, prosecutors say Rust’s assistant director David Halls “has signed a plea deal for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon.”
“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,” special prosecutor Andrea Reeb explains in a written statement. “It’s that simple.”
A review of evidence in the case “clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety” on the film’s set, Reeb adds.
“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.”
Rust‘s director Joel Souza was also wounded in the shooting, but prosecutors say no charges would be filed in connection with that.
“This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice,” Baldwin’s attorney says.
“Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”
A Fatal Shooting
In October 2021, Baldwin accidentally discharged a Colt .45-caliber pistol on the set of the western movie, which fired a live round, killing Hutchins and injuring Souza.
Baldwin has always maintained that he did not know there was a live round in the gun, which was being used as a prop, when the film crew gathered to rehearse a scene.
“I don’t know what happened on that set. I don’t know how that bullet arrived in that gun. I don’t know,” Baldwin told ABC News in December 2021.
Hutchins has been described as a “wonderful mother, first and foremost,” while her professional achievements have been celebrated by American Cinematographer magazine after she was named one of its rising stars in 2019, according to BBC.
I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set. She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/vcdFqHsGA0
— Adam Egypt Mortimer (@adamegypt) October 22, 2021
In October, it was confirmed that Baldwin had reached a settlement with the cinematographer’s family, including her husband Matthew Hutchins, after they filed a lawsuit accusing the Rust producers of reckless behavior and cost-cutting measures.
It was also revealed that Rust’s filming will resume this month with Hutchins’ husband serving as executive producer. Baldwin is expected to resume his role in the film.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.