A prosecutor from New Mexico (USA) formalized on Tuesday the charges of involuntary manslaughter against the actor Alec Baldwin for the death of the cinematographer Halyna Hutchinswho died of a shot to the chest during the filming of the film Rust in October 2021.
New Mexico 1st Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies had already announced nearly two weeks ago that she intended to file criminal charges against Baldwin, as well as Hannah Gutierrez-Reedthe gunsmith and in charge of security protocol.
In the indictment, Carmack-Altwies listed on Tuesday a series of security flaws and claimed that Baldwin knew the protocol, having been in more than 40 films in which firearms were used.
A procedure by which the gunsmith should have been present to check that the weapon was safe and not trust the assistant director, David Halls, because “He did not have the power to authorize the use of the revolver.”
In addition, the prosecutor stated that Baldwin should have received a minimum of half an hour training on the use of firearms, but that he did not comply with it because “most of the time he was talking on his cell phone with his family.”
On the other hand, Baldwin, as producer of the film, “should never” have allowed the hiring of Hannah Gutierrez-Reed because “she lacked the necessary training and experience,” according to the prosecutor.
Carmack-Altwies made the charges official after 15 months of speculation about the involvement in the event on the part of Baldwin, who activated a prop weapon containing live ammunitionwhen this type of bullets are prohibited on filming.
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed could now face a criminal trial that could cost them a maximum of five years in jail. The decision could take up to 60 days.
Assistant director David Halls signed a misdemeanor plea agreement with the prosecution accepting the charge of “negligent use of a deadly weapon” and six months of probation.
Baldwin -known for tapes such as pearl harbor– He has defended his innocence in various interviews with the media, alleging that the responsibility to ensure the safety of weapons in Rust was assigned to Gutierrez-Reed and that he never pulled the triggerbut rather that the weapon detonated because it was defective.
However, after analyzing the audiovisual material obtained by the authorities, the prosecutor assured that there are “multiple photographs and videos” that show him with finger on the trigger and that he violated the first safety rule on filming: “Never point a firearm, loaded or not, at another person.”
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office investigation has not yet been able to reveal how the live ammunition got onto the set.
Three months ago, Baldwin and the rest of the film’s producers reached an agreement to end the wrongful-death civil lawsuit that the Hutchins family had filed against them.
At the expense of the deal being approved by a judge, production on the film is expected to resume this year.
(With information from EFE)