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FILE PHOTO: Alec Baldwin attends the 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award Gala in New York City, U.S., December 6, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly Photo: Reuters/ANDREW KELLY
entertainment

Baldwin charged in 'Rust' shooting; others indicted

31 Comments
By Andrew Hay and Brendan O'Brien

Actor Alec Baldwin faces involuntary manslaughter charges in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during the 2021 filming of Western "Rust" in New Mexico.

Santa Fe's top prosecutor Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a statement Thursday that the film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, would also face involuntary manslaughter charges.

Hutchins' family welcomed the announcement. In a statement, Baldwin attorney Luke Nikas said, "this decision distorts Halyna Hutchins' tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice."

The announcement followed more than a year of investigation after a pistol was fired in October 2021 as Baldwin, 64, was rehearsing with it on the set of his movie "Rust" outside Santa Fe.

According to a police report, David Halls, the assistant director who handed the gun to Baldwin, did not know it contained live rounds. Halls signed a plea agreement for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, Carmack-Altwies said in her statement. Set armorer Gutierrez Reed had handled the gun before Halls.

“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, adding charges would be filed by month's end. “On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”

The movie's director, Joel Souza, was hit and wounded by the same .45-caliber bullet that killed Hutchins.

Prosecutors must prove on-set firearm safety began with Gutierrez Reed, who was in charge of weapons; applied to Halls, who checked the gun and handed it to Baldwin, then extended to the actor, who also was a producer on the film.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be charged “in the alternative” with two counts of manslaughter, meaning a jury will decide not only if they were guilty, but under which definition of involuntary manslaughter, the prosecutor said.

Simple involuntary manslaughter for negligence is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. Should prosecutors prove there was more than simple negligence involved in the use of a firearm, they could face a five-year jail term.

Baldwin has denied responsibility for Hutchins' death and said live rounds should never have been allowed onto the set of the low-budget movie. Halls told Baldwin the gun was "cold," an industry term meaning it is safe to use, according to police records. It remains unclear how live ammunition got on the set.

"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," his attorney Nikas said.

In a statement released on behalf of the Hutchins family, lawyer Brian Panish said their own investigation also found charges were warranted.

"It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law," the statement added. "We support the charges, will fully cooperate with this prosecution, and fervently hope the justice system works to protect the public and hold accountable those who break the law."

The family sued Baldwin in 2021 alleging the Emmy-winning "30 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live” actor had a responsibility to check the gun did not contain live rounds, not point it at the cinematographer, and not cock the weapon and pull the trigger.

The family subsequently reached a settlement in which Matt Hutchins became an executive producer of "Rust" and production was set to resume early in 2023 outside New Mexico.

Baldwin told ABC News in 2021 he did not pull the trigger of the replica Pietta .45-caliber long Colt revolver and it fired after he cocked it while rehearsing camera angles with Hutchins.

An FBI forensic test of the revolver found it "functioned normally" and would not fire without the trigger being pulled.

New Mexico's worker safety agency in April fined the film's production company $137,000 the maximum amount possible for what it described as "willful" safety lapses leading to Hutchin's death.

The agency found Rust Move Productions LLC knew firearm safety procedures were not being followed and showed "plain indifference" to the hazards.

© Thomson Reuters 2023.

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.


31 Comments
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Good.

Nobody thinks he intended for any of this to happen, but…

He was the producer. That means he’s in charge and is this responsible for what happens on set.

He was the one allegedly doing things on the cheap so that the crew was tired and irritable (and careless).

He was the one who hired an allegedly unqualified armorer.

He was in charge of a shoot where both live and dummy rounds were used on-set IN THE SAME GUN.

He was the one who failed to check his gun.

He may not remember it due to psychological issues, but he pulled the trigger. Not on purpose, but this gun didn’t discharge itself.

You wanted a producer credit, Alec. Congrats, you’re the boss.

Someone is dead on your set and you have to face accountability

7 ( +8 / -1 )

A bizarre, twilight zone tragedy. Baldwin & co must be held responsible for the death, but malice aforethought must have been the starting point somewhere on the set. Who that was will likely never be discovered. It's the perfect, unsolvable crime of a mastermind.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A country where messy gun culture is part of everyday life...

4 ( +8 / -4 )

He really thought he was sufficiently hardcore leftist hero to not have any consequences.

he was wrong.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Took almost 2 years while the average schmo would have been charged within a few days.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

He really thought he was sufficiently hardcore leftist hero to not have any consequences.

What makes you think he thought this? Are you saying he murdered her on purpose with the expectation that being left would protect him from prosecution? Or are you talking about getting charged with involuntary manslaughter, in which case, how did you come to the conclusion that he thought this? Because with no references, I can only think in regards to your post:

he was wrong.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Strangerland

Baldwin's own words: "Someone is ​responsible for what happened, and I can't say who that is, but I know it's not me."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I was absolutely sure he'll get charged. Another thing is - the gun handler is ultimately responsible for what happens. If he knew it was a REAL gun (which he did), he had the responsibility to check if it's loaded or not, before ever starting to work with it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"I wonder how it must feel to wrongfully kill someone...,"

Baldwin tweet 2017

5 ( +5 / -0 )

“blindsided” is a good word that he used to indicate he never thought he would be held accountable.

maybe this too?

“Alec Baldwin refuses to accept responsibility for ‘Rust’ shooting, will fight manslaughter charge”

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

“blindsided” is a good word that he used to indicate he never thought he would be held accountable.

In that he shares a regretable similarity to the buffoon he so expertly mocked.

But thankfully in both cases, we have the criminal justice system to hold to account those who mistakenly believe they are above the law.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I do think he should face a trial, and if it's shown he's guilty, good. Someone died.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

How does that support the assertion that he thought he was "sufficiently hardcore leftist hero to not have any consequences"?

He clearly shot and killed someone but had yet to even be jailed for 1 day awaiting trial. Special treatment.

Why else would he expect to not be indicted like everyone else would be and has been?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

He clearly shot and killed someone but had yet to even be jailed for 1 day awaiting trial. Special treatment.

Was it? You'll have to show that this isn't the norm for me to believe that. Otherwise it's just sour grapes cause he made your boy look bad by portraying him as the loser he is.

Why else would he expect to not be indicted like everyone else would be and has been?

Have they been? I'd bet a dollar to a donut you made up that "statistic".

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A tragic accident. Who is responsible and what should happen? That will be decided by the courts. Baldwin won't spend time in jail before the trial and probably even after it. A fine will be the most likely outcome.

Baldwin's politics have zero to do with the case.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If Baldwin is found criminally liable, you won't find anyone here trying to rationalize the verdict as a political witch hunt.

So there is that difference....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

0% chance he'll be convicted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rationalize the verdict as a political witch hunt. 

So there is that difference....

Maybe because he…..shot and killed someone?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

He was the producer. That means he’s in charge and is this responsible for what happens on set.

There is no way he'd be charged if he wasn't the one to pull the trigger, so I don't see how him being producer is at all relevant.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is no way he'd be charged if he wasn't the one to pull the trigger, so I don't see how him being producer is at all relevant.

There is a very good chance he could be charged anyway. The Producer is responsible ciminally and civilly for everything that happens on the set.

That HE pulled the trigger only makes the case against him stronger.

There is zero probability that the gun "just went off".

He hired the armorer. He allowed there to be live rounds on set. That alone is a criminal negligence charge even if he hadn't pulled the trigger.

So many actors want to be producers. Let this be a lesson in both the acting and the political realms:

You take the top job, the good news is you're the boss. You can cut corners, backstab allies, fire directors, ignore the rule of law all you want for some period of time.

The bad news is you're the boss. Allow live rounds on set, fail to check the weapon yourself, insight an insurrection and the like and you are going to be held to account.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

so the leftist hero......lied about shooting and killing someone?

Well, via the criminal justice system, that's what we are going to find out, little b.

See how that works?

There is an incident - a shooting, an insurrection, the willful retention of documents not belonging to one along with non-conpliance of a subpeona for example.

There is an investigation in to the incident.

If there is probable cause, there is an indictment.

At trial the facts come out.

Funny how nobody is arguing in favor of this leftist NOT facing accountability.

That is a refreshing change from what we normally see here with respect to the cult of the insurrectionist in chief.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

so the leftist hero

This political partisanship is pathological.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I mean I don’t really understand how they are going after the actor here. The production wasn’t small enough for him to be the weapon smith on set. That’s where the real obvious blame belongs.

that said if you are producer it’s also part of your job to vet the staff hired.

I can’t really see him doing time for something he could not have predicted.

BUT ALSO I still don’t understand why they use real functioning weapons for this stuff. Blanks in real weapons still involve real weapons. Surely our technology has come far enough that we can make non-firing fake guns

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

"Mr. Baldwin ... relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds."

Good luck with that lame defense, Alec.

If you're handling a gun, YOU (not the person who handled it before you) are responsible for its safety.

YOU are responsible for whatever happens with that gun after you take it into your hands.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This political partisanship is pathological.

It’s the only reason leftists love him or even care. He very vocally hates Trump and has a job on leftist “comedy” TV mocking him, so he’s their hero. That’s his entire thing by now, it’s not the 80s anymore.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas said the actor was “blindsided” by the charges, which Nikas called “a terrible miscarriage of justice.”

its actually a miscarriage of justice that you shoot and kill someone but can just continue on making C class crappy movies and going on comedy shows. Who wants to hear this knucklehead making jokes about other people? YOU shot and killed someone, zero room to say anything else.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This was an industrial accident not murder in the o.k. corral. Like most, it could have been avoided with the right safety checks.

A woman lost her life and a family a mother and wife.

Involuntary manslaughter involves the accidental killing of another person due to some kind of negligent or reckless act.

There has no miscarriage of justice and three people have been charged.

Justice will continue until the conclusion.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nope, nope, wansn't MY fault, it was everybody ELSE's fault...even though I pulled the trigger and POINTED it at her, despite her NOT being in the movie....that makes you think a bit; 'eh ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Actor Alec Baldwin faces involuntary manslaughter charges in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during the 2021 filming of Western "Rust" in New Mexico.

The prosecutors are pretty much throwing everything at him, hoping he'd plea to a deal

But this case will be very hard for the prosecutors to overcome the burden of proof

Think about it - how can ya prove that Baldwin knew there were live bullets in the gun? That's what it would take to convict him

At best, they'd probably get him for negligence

(If it even gets to trial - the judge still has yet to decide whether the prosecutors have provided enough evidence for this case to proceed to a jury trial)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From what i know the bullet came from his gun and he was aiming at her. Hmmm.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

From what i know the bullet came from his gun and he was aiming at her. Hmmm.

From what he knows, it was not a live bullet - that it was fake

The prosecutors would have to prove that he knew, or should have known, that they were live bullets

It's like going to a water-gun fight and given a gun you thought filled with water. But then, it turns out to be acid. Who's responsible?

That's what they gonna sort out in court

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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