Alec Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the ‘Rust’ shooting

American actor Alec Baldwin.  (AP/Seth Wenig, File)
American actor Alec Baldwin. (AP/Seth Wenig, File)

Prosecutors will charge the actor Alec Baldwin of involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of the cinematographer on the set of the film “Rush.”

The person responsible for the weapon that fired the shot that killed Halyna Hutchinswill also be accused, announced the attorney of the first judicial district of New Mexico, Mary Carmack-Altwies.

If convicted, both face up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

“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 bring criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the ‘Rust’ film crew,” said Carmack-Altwies.

“As long as I am a prosecutor, no one will be above the law and everyone deserves justice,” he said.

New Mexico 1st Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies. (AP/Andres Leighton, File)
New Mexico 1st Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies. (AP/Andres Leighton, File)

Santa Fe District Attorney, Mary Carmack Altwieshad said that the announcement would be made in a statement and on social networks, without public appearances by prosecutors.

the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died shortly after being shot and wounded during set-up for a scene at the ranch outside Santa Fe on October 21, 2021. Baldwin was pointing a gun at Hutchins when the gun discharged, killing her and wounding the director , Joel Souza.

Santa Fe County Sheriff, Adam Mendoza, who led the initial investigation into Hutchins’ death, described “a degree of neglect” on the film set. But he left decisions on possible criminal charges to prosecutors after delivering the results of a year-long investigation in October. That report did not specify how the live ammunition ended up on the film set.

Director of Photography, Halyna Hutchins
Director of Photography, Halyna Hutchins

By taking control of the investigation, carmack-altwies received an emergency request for $300,000 for the state to pay for a special prosecutor, a special investigator, and other experts and staff.

Baldwin, known for his roles in “30 Rock” and “The Hunt for Red October” and his imitation of the former president donald trump in “Saturday night Live”described the murder as a “tragic accident.”

He tried to clear his name by suing the people involved in handling and supplying the loaded gun given to him on set. Baldwin, also a co-producer of “Rust,” said he was told the gun was safe.

In his lawsuit, Baldwin said that while working on camera angles with Hutchins during a scene rehearsal, he pointed the gun in her direction and pulled back and released the firing pin on the gun, which fired.

The Office of the Medical Investigator of New Mexico determined the shooting was an accident after completing an autopsy and a review of police reports.

The New Mexico Office of Occupational Safety and Health imposed the maximum fine against Rust Movie Productions, based on a scathing narrative of safety lapses, including testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two blank ammunition firing failures on set prior to the fatal accident. shooting.

Rust Movie Productions continues to challenge the basis of a $137,000 fine by regulators who say on-set production managers failed to follow industry-standard protocols for firearms safety.

An image of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died after being shot by Alec Baldwin on the set of her film "Rust"is shown at a vigil in his honor in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S., October 23, 2021. REUTERS
An image of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died after being shot by Alec Baldwin on the set of his film “Rust,” is displayed at a vigil for her in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, on May 23. October 2021. REUTERS

The gunsmith who supervised the firearms on the set, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, has been the subject of much of the scrutiny of the case, along with an independent ammunition supplier. An attorney for Gutierrez Reed has said she did not put a live bullet in the gun that killed Hutchins and believes she was the victim of sabotage. Authorities said they have found no evidence of that.

Investigators initially found 500 rounds of ammunition on the film set outside of Santa Fe, a mix of blanks, fake bullets and what appeared to be real bullets. Industry insiders have said that live rounds should never be on set.

In April 2022, the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department released a large number of files, including lapel cam video of the fatally wounded Hutchins slipping in and out of consciousness as a medical helicopter arrived. Witness interrogations, email threads, text conversations, ammunition inventories, and hundreds of photographs completed that collection of evidence.

The set where the fatal shooting occurred (AP / Jae C. Hong, file)
The set where the fatal shooting occurred (AP / Jae C. Hong, file)

State workplace safety regulators said immediate gun safety concerns were addressed when “Rust” stopped filming, and that a return to filming in New Mexico would be accompanied by new safety inspections.

Hutchins’ family, widower Matthew Hutchins and his son Andros, have settled a lawsuit against the producers under an agreement that aims to restart filming with Matthew Hutchin serving as executive producer.

“Rust” was plagued with disputes from its inception in early October 2021. Seven crew members left the set just hours before the fatal shooting amid contention over working conditions.

Hutchins’ death influenced negotiations over security provisions in film crew union contracts with Hollywood producers and encouraged other filmmakers to choose computer-generated gunshots over actual weapons with blank ammunition for minimize risks.

(With information from AP)

Keep reading:

Alec Baldwin accused four members of Rust’s team in the death of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer.
The investigation against actor Alec Baldwin for the murder of Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust” has ended
Alec Baldwin Announces Settlement With Family Of Cinematographer Killed On Set