More than a year after he fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of the film “Rust,” actor Alec Baldwin will now face a criminal charge for that shooting death.
Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter, according to prosecutors, due to his “criminal disregard for safety,” the Associated Press reported.
Also facing an involuntary manslaughter charge is “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, as she was supposed to supervise any and all weapons and ammunition on the set. Likewise, assistant director David Halls, who handed the gun loaded with live rounds to Baldwin, has already agreed to plead guilty to the crime of negligent use of a deadly weapon.
Baldwin at fault for Hutchins’ death
The outlet reported that Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said of Baldwin in a statement, “This set was really being run pretty fast and loose, and he knew or he should have known that there had been misfires, that there were safety concerns, that multiple people had brought them up.”
She further asserted that a contributing factor to the charging decision was that Baldwin, in addition to being the producer in charge of the entire set, was also “the actor that held the gun, that pointed the gun, and that pulled the trigger” to fire the fatal shot.
The AP noted that, under New Mexico law, an involuntary manslaughter conviction can result in up to 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. However, since the crime involved the use of a firearm, a special provision could be triggered, so to speak, that will result in Baldwin spending a mandatory five years behind bars in prison.
Special prosecutor Andrea Reeb, echoing the district attorney, said in a statement that there had been a “pattern of criminal disregard for safety” on the set of Baldwin’s film that contributed directly to the unfortunate death of Hutchins.
“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,” she said.
Baldwin claimed he never pulled the trigger
Breitbart reported that the district attorney and special prosecutor, during an appearance on Fox News, also exposed Baldwin for being dishonest about his own actions in an interview he conducted in the months after the shooting.
While recounting the deadly incident with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, Baldwin recalled how he and Hutchins were rehearsing a particular shot in which he aimed his revolver at the camera and cocked back the hammer but insisted that he had never pulled the trigger of the weapon.
Even after Stephanopoulos pressed him about whether he had pulled the trigger, Baldwin replied “No” repeatedly and said, “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never. Never. That was the training that I had.”
“Definitely, the trigger was pulled,” says the prosecutor
Yet, special prosecutor Reeb told the co-hosts of Fox News’ “The Five” that “We definitely believe he pulled the trigger. The FBI lab report confirms that. So, definitely, the trigger was pulled.”
That prompted co-host Jeanine Pirro, a former judge, to ask the prosecutors, “Alright, so his statement is not correct under any circumstance?” to which Reeb replied, “We don’t believe it is.”
“Mr. Baldwin had a duty at the base level to never hold a gun and point it at a person while pulling the trigger,” DA Carmack-Altwies interjected. “But he also had a duty as an actor and a producer on that set to have the bullets checked, or to check them himself to make sure they weren’t live.”