Alec Baldwin to be Charged with Manslaughter According to Santa Fe DA By: Dante Graves

Alec Baldwin. (Photo: News Nation)

Actor and producer Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed are set to be charged with involuntary manslaughter for the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film “Rust,” according to the Santa Fe District Attorney’s office. 

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Mary Carmack Altwies, the 1st Judicial District Attorney, announced the charges in a written statement this morning. 

“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.”

The charges came down slightly more than a year after the October 2021 tragedy where a real bullet was discharged from a gun on set while rehearsing a scene for the film. Director Joel Souza was also injured in the accidental shooting. The DA has declined to file charges on behalf of Souza.

According to Carmack-Altwies, Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be charged “in the alternative.” If Baldwin is found guilty, the jury will also decide which version of manslaughter applies to the alleged crime.

If Baldwin is convicted of involuntary manslaughter, he will face 18 months in prison with a $5,000 fine. A misdemeanor will also accompany the charge for negligent use of a firearm.

However, if the jury decides to convict Baldwin of involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, the penalty will include a five-year mandatory prison sentence for the firearm enhancement. 

David Halls, assistant director for the film, signed a plea agreement for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. He was offered a suspended sentence and six months of probation.

While the charges haven’t been formally filed, the announcement from the DA’s office states that they will be officially filed by the end of the month. These charges came less than three months after the Santa Fe county sheriff’s department turned in their investigation. 

Baldwin was rehearsing a cross-draw in an old church on the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set. In an interview with ABC News, Baldwin claims that he never pulled the trigger and that the gun fired after he released the half-cocked hammer. 

Hutchins was placed on an emergency airlift to a hospital where she was pronounced dead upon arrival.

During the initial investigation, deputies learned Gutierrez-Reed loaded the gun from a box containing both dummy rounds and live ammunition. Halls then declared the firearm “cold,” which means unloaded, before directly handing it to Baldwin.

“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,” said Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor appointed by the DA to the case. “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.”

Baldwin, who has won multiple Emmys and Golden Globe Awards, is best known for his work in the 90s as a leading man. Later, he found success as Jack Donaghy for seven seasons on “30 Rock,” and he later became the in-house Donald Trump impersonator on “Saturday Night Live” from 2016-2020. 

The actor and producer had already reached an undisclosed settlement with Hutchins’ husband that gives the widower an executive producer credit for the film. 

“Rust” was set to resume filming this month. Whether or not these charges will stall production even further is unknown at this time.

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