Alec Baldwin was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Halyna Hutchins.
via: NBC News
Baldwin and the film’s armorer who was in charge of weapons on the set, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, will each face two counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.
“Rust” first assistant director, David Halls, has agreed to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon, according to the DA’s office.
Carmack-Altwies said charges will be filed before the end of the month.
“This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice,” according to a statement by the actor’s attorney, Luke Nikas.
“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.”
Involuntary manslaughter is a fourth-degree felony and is normally punishable by up to 18 months behind bars and a $5,000 fine, prosecutors said. But a firearm enhancement on the charges could make the crime punishable by a mandatory sentence of five years in jail, prosecutors said.
“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 file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the ‘Rust’ film crew,” Carmack-Altwies said in a statement.
“On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”
Hutchins was fatally shot nearly 15 months ago during the filming of “Rust” at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico on Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin was rehearsing with a pistol for a scene set inside a church when the gun went off, killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza.
No charges will be filed in connection to Souza’s wounding, the prosecutors said.
“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. It’s that simple,” special prosecutor Andrea Reeb said in a statement.
“The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set. 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.”
Hutchins, 42, was survived by her husband, Matthew Hutchins, and their 9-year-old son, Aldous.
The family said it supports the prosecutors’ decision to seek criminal charges.