More than a year after the tragic “Rust” shooting, a New Mexico prosecutor has finally decided to charge Alec Baldwin with a significant crime.
Baldwin was at the center of a horrific incident in October 2021 while the film “Rust” was being shot. According to court documents from The New York Times, the director Joel Souza and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins were both struck by a handgun shot by Baldwin. Both Hutchins and Souza received gunshot wounds to the chest.
Unfortunately, Souza recovered entirely from her gunshot wound, while Hutchins died due to her injuries. Following the incident, it was unclear who was to blame or whether the necessary safety safeguards were in place to prevent a repeat calamity.
According to CNN, Baldwin has maintained his innocence and blamed Hannah Gutierrez Reed and Dave Halls, the film’s associate director and armorer/props assistant. Two months after the shooting, Baldwin met with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos to discuss the incident and deny culpability.
“Someone loaded a firearm with real ammunition,” he said. “Unauthorized possession of a live bullet on the premises. I’m unable to identify the person(s) responsible for what happened, but I’m confident it’s not me.” Because they utilized the firearm, Baldwin and a few other crew members may have been charged with a crime. After a year-long investigation, a New Mexico prosecutor announced his intention to charge Baldwin in the case.
Alec Baldwin has been charged with the “Rust” shooting. Therefore, his legal fate in the horrific occurrence is now known. According to Sky News, First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies indicated that her desire for justice for all victims compelled her to charge both Baldwin and “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed with involuntary manslaughter.
In October, Carmack-Altweis told ABC News that she would do a “thorough investigation of the facts and evidence in order to make a reasoned, timely judgment about whether to file charges.” According to Variety, the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office conducted a comprehensive investigation into the incident to see whether Baldwin and his other crew members should be charged.
Phone records and a forensic examination of the weapon informed the prosecutors’ decision. According to the inquiry, Gutierrez Reed loaded the gun with live bullets. The conclusions of the investigation influenced whether or not Baldwin would face charges.
According to NBC News, Dave Halls, who was there when the fatal shot was fired, expects to submit a guilty plea to negligent use of a deadly weapon.
Alec Baldwin is expected to be charged with involuntary manslaughter, but his fate remains unknown. According to ABC News, the Santa Fe First Judicial District Attorney, Mary Carmack-Altwies, has until the end of January to charge Baldwin lawfully.
Following that, a preliminary hearing will determine whether or not his case will be tried, as well as which of two manslaughter theories best applies to Baldwin’s scenario. If jurors conclude that Baldwin handled the gun “without reasonable prudence and circumspection,” he may face up to 18 months in prison, according to the Los Angeles Times. The penalty also includes a $5,000 fine, according to NPR.
In light of the claims, Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, blasted the choice in a statement to People.
The verdict, according to Nikas, “distorts the heartbreaking loss of Halyna Hutchins and represents a horrendous miscarriage of justice.”
“There was no reason for Mr. Baldwin to believe the weapon or the movie set carried a live bullet. When the professionals with whom he worked informed him that the gun was free of live bullets, he trusted them.” When he put a stop to his words, Nikas expressed optimism. “We will fight these claims and win.”
According to Deadline, production on “Rust” ended immediately upon the death of Haylna Hutchins in October 2021.
“The entire cast and crew have been heartbroken by today’s tragedy, and we send our heartfelt sympathies to Halyna’s family and loved ones,” said the film’s publicist.
“We have temporarily suspended filming on the movie and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s inquiry,” according to the statement.
There is no stated release date for “Rust” at this moment.