Overnight it was announced that Alec Baldwin and armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will be charged with involuntary manslaughter over a fatal shooting on the set of Rust. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was hit and killed after the actor pulled the trigger on a prop gun allegedly filled with blanks on October 21, 2021. Director Joel Souza was also wounded during the incident.
New Mexico prosecutor District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies revealed the charges in a statement after a year-long investigation. “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.
Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas said the decision to file charges against the actor “represents a terrible miscarriage of justice”, per the ABC.
Assistant director David Halls, who handed Baldwin the gun, reportedly signed a guilty plea agreement for negligent use of a deadly weapon.
The crew were on a film set in Santa Fe rehearsing a scene when Baldwin was handed a revolver and set off a live round. The actor has denied responsibility in the past citing that a bullet should have never been allowed on set. In a tearful interview following the incident Baldwin was adamant he did not pull the trigger.
“The trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger. I would never point a gun at someone and pull the trigger on them, never.” Baldwin added he had “no idea” how a bullet made its way into a gun that was intended to be a prop. “Someone put a live bullet in a gun,” he said. “A bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property.”
In New Mexico involuntary manslaughter carries a penalty of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of $7,529 USD.
According to the prosecutor, charges will be filed by the end of January with Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed set to receive a summons to attend court. They will rely on a judge only to determine probable cause to move to a trial.
More to come.
Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Turner