19 January 2023
Alec Baldwin will face involuntary manslaughter charges in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of his movie “Rust.”
Baldwin and “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will each be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a Thursday statement.
The announcement from the Santa Fe district attorney came more than a year after the October 2021 fatal shooting of Hutchins, caused by a live round fired from a prop gun by Baldwin, the film’s producer and star, while rehearsing a scene on the New Mexico production.
The film’s director, Joel Souza, was also wounded in the shooting. Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will not be charged in relation to Souza’s injury.
“Rust” assistant director David Halls signed a plea agreement for a charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, according to the district attorney’s office.
“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 district attorney, said in a statement on Thursday. “The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set.”
Each involuntary manslaughter charge carries a potential sentence of up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
In a statement to ITK, Baldwin’s attorney called the district attorney’s decision a “terrible miscarriage of justice” that “distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death.”
Baldwin “had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set,” lawyer Luke Nikas said. “We will fight these charges, and we will win.”
Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, called the charges “the result of a very flawed investigation, and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts.”
“We intend to bring the full truth to light,” Bowles told ITK in a statement, “and believe Hannah will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury.”
The FBI said in a forensic report following its investigation that the gun that killed Hutchins could not have been fired without someone pulling the trigger.
Baldwin and other “Rust” producers settled a lawsuit with Hutchins’s family — which had accused the team behind the film of “reckless conduct and cost-cutting measures” — last October.
“All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work,” Matthew Hutchins, the 42-year-old cinematographer’s husband, said in a statement following the settlement.
Following the shooting, Baldwin vowed to never work with real guns on a TV or movie set again.
In a TV interview just weeks after the incident, he claimed “someone else” was “responsible” for Hutchins’s death.
“I feel that someone is responsible for what happened,” the 64-year-old actor said at the time, “and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”
Filming on the movie had been poised to resume this month. It wasn’t immediately clear if the charges against Baldwin would affect the production schedule.
—Updated at 11:57 a.m.