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‘Rust’ shooting: Alec Baldwin, armorer charged with involuntary manslaughter

By Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk,

2023-01-31

Prosecutors formally filed involuntary manslaughter charges Tuesday against actor Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed in the 2021 shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie “Rust.”

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Authorities announced earlier this month that they planned to charge Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed with two counts each of involuntary manslaughter. David Halls, the assistant director of “Rust,” signed a plea agreement for one count of negligent use of a deadly weapon and got a suspended sentence and six months of probation, officials said.

Update 3:25 p.m. EST Jan. 31: In charging documents obtained by KRQE , prosecutors said that Halls handed Baldwin the gun that killed Hutchins, and that Gutierrez Reed was in charge of weapons on the set.

“On the day of the shooting alone, evidence shows that no less than a dozen acts, or omissions of recklessness, occurred in the short time prior to lunch and the time of the shooting, and this does not include the reckless handling of the firearm by Baldwin,” a probable cause statement obtained by the news station read.

Prosecutors added that Baldwin “by act or omission or failure to act in his position as a producer directly contributed and/or failed to mitigate numerous reckless and dangerous actions during a very short time period.”

Original report: Mary Carmack-Altwies, district attorney for New Mexico’s first judicial district, said in a statement that neither she nor “Rust” special prosecutor Andrea Reeb will make any public appearances related to the filing.

“The District Attorney and the special prosecutor are fully focused on securing justice for Halyna Hutchins,” said Heather Brewer, a spokesperson for Carmack-Altwies’ office. “The evidence and the facts speak for themselves.”

‘Rust’ shooting: Alec Baldwin, armorer to face involuntary manslaughter charges

In a statement released on Jan. 19 , Reeb said that Hutchins would still be alive “if any one of these three people—Alec Baldwin, Hanna Gutierrez-Reed or David Halls—had done their job.”

“It’s that simple,” she said. “The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set.”

‘Rust’ shooting: Alec Baldwin, Halyna Hutchins’ family reach settlement

Baldwin’s attorney, Luka Nikas, said in a statement obtained by KOB that the decision to charge his client was “a terrible miscarriage of justice.”

“Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set,” he said. “He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”

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Gutierrez Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press that the decision was “the result of a very flawed investigation, and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts.”

After charges were announced earlier this month, Hutchins’ family thanked prosecutors and investigators for their work.

“It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law,” read the family’s statement, which was released by attorney Brian J. Panish . “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.”

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Under New Mexico law, Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed could face a maximum of five years in jail if they are convicted of the most serious charge filed against them.

Authorities said Baldwin was holding a gun on Oct. 21, 2021, while Hutchins was setting up a scene for “Rust,” when the gun went off. A bullet hit and killed Hutchins and injured the movie’s director, Joel Souza.

Baldwin has denied wrongdoing, calling the shooting a “tragic accident,” according to The Associated Press .

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