Actor and producer Alec Baldwin has been criminally charged in the fatal 2021 shooting on the set of the movie “Rust,” the Santa Fe County, New Mexico district attorney’s office told CNN on Tuesday.
The charges against Baldwin and the set’s gunsmith, Hannah Guiterrez Reed, include two counts of manslaughter, the prosecutor’s office said. Lawyers for both defendants had previously insisted on the innocence of their respective clients.
“Charges of negligent use of a deadly weapon were also filed against ‘Rust’ assistant manager David Halls, who pleaded no contest and entered into a plea deal pending approval,” according to a press release issued by the prosecutor’s office.
“Today we took another important step in getting justice for Halyna Hutchins,” District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a statement to CNN on Tuesday. “In New Mexico, no one is above the law and justice will be served.”
Carmack-Altwies told CNN earlier this month she would charge Baldwin and the film’s gunsmith with manslaughter, accusing them of failing to follow safety procedures that could have prevented the accident that resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
cackling was hit and killed by live ammunition fired from a prop gun held by Baldwin, who maintains that he did not pull the trigger on the gun.
Director Joel Souza was also shot and wounded.
Baldwin did not take firearms training on the “Rust” set seriously, prosecutors said in probable cause documents outlining the evidence in the case.
“A practice session of at least an hour or more was planned, but the actual practice was only about 30 minutes because according to (gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez) Reed, Baldwin was distracted and talking on his cell phone at his family during the training,” the document reads.
Gutierrez Reed is also charged with manslaughter, with prosecutors saying she failed to insist on Baldwin’s safety training, check every cartridge loaded into the guns and follow protocols. appropriate safety devices for the storage of ammunition.
“Gutierrez Reed was reckless in his responsibility to provide security on set with the gun. She failed to prevent Baldwin from committing the dangerous and reckless security breaches by pointing the gun at/at people and having her finger on the trigger,” according to the probable cause statement against Gutierrez Reed.
“The photos and videos clearly show Baldwin, multiple times, with his finger inside
the trigger guard and on the trigger, while handling the hammer and firing, aiming and sheathing the revolver,” prosecutors said.
Repeated FBI tests on the gun determined that it could not fire without the trigger being pulled. In interviews with CNN and ABC, Baldwin claimed he didn’t pull the trigger.
CNN has contacted representatives for Baldwin and Gutierrrez Reed.
Baldwin maintained that he was unaware that the gun he fired during rehearsal contained live ammunition. In a statement to CNN on Jan. 19, his attorney called the prosecutors’ decision a “terrible miscarriage of justice.”
“This decision distorts the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice. Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the set,” Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas said in his statement.
“He relied on the professionals he worked with, who assured him that the gun had no live ammunition. We will fight these accusations and we will win.
A lawyer for Gutierrez Reed said he believed jurors would find his client not guilty.
“We expected the charges, but they are absolutely wrong about Hannah – we expect her to be found not guilty by a jury and not to have committed manslaughter,” the statement said. attorney Jason Bowles in a statement to CNN earlier this month when the indictment was first released.
“She was moved by the tragedy but committed no crime.”
Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed each face two counts of manslaughter so a jury can decide which specific charge might be more appropriate, Carmack-Altwies previously told CNN.
If found guilty, “they will only be sentenced to one count”, the prosecutor said.
In either case, a conviction carries a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, prosecutors said.
But a count would imply a gun upgrade, or additional punishment, because a gun was involved. In that case, the crime could carry a sentence of up to five years in prison, prosecutors said.