Alec Baldwin (64) has to answer in court after the fatal shooting of camerawoman Halyna Hutchins (1979-2021) on the set of the film “Rust” in October 2021. Baldwin is to be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced on Thursday.
The first charge is negligent homicide, which carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison, according to US media reports. The second charge is also negligent homicide, but in connection with the use of firearms, which could be punished with up to five years in prison. The same two charges are also facing the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.
Alec Baldwin ‘doesn’t get a free pass just because he’s an actor’
Carmack-Altwies said in a statement to CNN that anyone who handles a gun and points it at someone has a duty to ensure they cannot fire a projectile and kill someone. And further: “An actor doesn’t get a free pass just because he’s an actor. That’s so important.”
Both defendants have denied the allegations. Baldwin’s attorney told the New York Post: “This decision distorts the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins and constitutes a horrific miscarriage of justice.” His client will defend himself against the allegations and win, it is said. The reason given is that Baldwin had no reason to believe the gun was loaded.
According to legal experts, it is unlikely that Baldwin will actually be convicted. The actor settled a civil lawsuit with Hutchins’ family back in October.
Actors Association defends Baldwin saying it’s a tragedy
On Friday, the actors’ association SAG-AFTRA defended Baldwin in a public statement. Accordingly, it is a tragedy, but not a criminal act. It is not an actor’s job to control a firearm on set, the statement said.
Prosecutor Mary Carmack-Altwies said in her statement: “Just because it was an accident doesn’t mean it wasn’t criminal.” In addition, video recordings should prove that Baldwin did not always adhere to the safety guidelines of the film industry during rehearsals. These state, for example, that the weapon may not be pointed directly at other people during the rehearsal.