Alec Baldwin Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter Over One Year After Fatal RUST Shooting
By Movieguide® Staff
After months of investigation, actor Alec Baldwin has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter is Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was the armorer on the set of RUST.
“We want to thank the Santa Fe Sheriff and the District Attorney for concluding their thorough investigation and determining that charges for involuntary manslaughter are warranted for the killing of Halyna Hutchins with conscious disregard for human life,” Halyna’s family shared in a statement released by attorney Brian J. Panish. “Our independent investigation also supports charges are warranted. It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law. 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.”
New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced the charges this month, a little over a year since Halyna’s death.
“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. “On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”
“Involuntary manslaughter in New Mexico is a Class D felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison,” former Assistant U.S. Attorney Neama Rahmani told Fox News Digital. “If Baldwin is convicted, I can see him being sentenced at or near the max.”
“Baldwin has a strong defense case, and I can see him pushing the case to trial for legal and public relations reasons,” he added. “He has to think about his acting career in addition to doing time. But if he rolls the dice and loses at trial, the judge may hammer him for causing Hutchins’ death.”
The district attorney explained that Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed were “charged in the alternative.” This means that a jury will decide not only if the two are guilty but will also decide which definition of involuntary manslaughter their actions fall under.
“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,” Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor appointed by the DA to the case, 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.”
While rehearsing for the upcoming Western RUST on location in New Mexico, actor Alec Baldwin discharged a gun, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring the film’s director, Joel Souza.
Hutchins was rushed to a hospital by helicopter and was soon pronounced dead. Souza was taken by ambulance to a separate medical center. And in the aftermath of it all, Baldwin voices his sorrow regarding the incident as well as his sympathy to the family of the deceased.
Authorities are currently looking into the fatal shooting on set, and criminal charges have yet to be ruled out.
Mary Carmack-Altwies, the local district attorney, told the New York Times, “We haven’t ruled out anything.”
Being a Western, a hefty portion of firearms and ammunition have been used during the filming of the movie. Detectives said they retrieved three revolvers in addition to a number of spent casings and ammunition from the set.
In the midst of the tragic death of Hutchins and the uncertainty of the investigation surrounding the handling of weapons on the set of RUST, questions regarding the legitimacy of firearm use in cinema have resurfaced.
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