Actor Alec Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter for accidentally shooting the cinematographer on the set of the western rustsaid a prosecutor this Thursday, January 19.
Baldwin was holding the Colt 45 revolver during rehearsals for the film when it went off, killing 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza. The event occurred in October 2021.
The gunsmith from the movie, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, responsible for the revolver that fired the shot, will also be chargedannounced New Mexico’s First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.
If convicted, both face up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
“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 film crew of RustCarmack-Altwies said.
“No one is above the law and everyone deserves justice,” he added.
Baldwin, 64, has repeatedly claimed that the team told him the gun was not loaded.
The former star of the television series 30 rock he also said earlier that he did not pull the trigger, although experts have disputed this claim.
Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, vowed to challenge the allegation, calling it a “terrible miscarriage of law.” “Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe that there was a ‘live’ bullet in the gun, or in any part of the set filming,” he said.
“He trusted the professionals he worked with, who assured him that the gun did not have real bullets. We will fight these charges and we will win.”, he asserted.
weapons on set
Assistant director David Halls, who handed the gun to Baldwin and told him it was “cold” (movie slang used to convey that it’s harmless), agreed to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon.
He will serve a suspended sentence and six months of probation, according to a statement. No charges will be filed for Souza’s injury.
Baldwin, the film’s co-producer, and Gutierrez-Reed have now been charged with two counts of manslaughter involving different levels of negligence.
If he decides to convict, the jury could choose which one. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison, but one of them, involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful actincludes an additional mandatory penalty of five years in prison because a weapon was involved in the death.
“If any 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 district attorney.
“The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for security on the film set of Rust”. “There is no place in New Mexico for film sets that don’t take our state’s commitment to gun safety and public safety seriously,” he added.
A lengthy investigation looked into how the gun, and five others, got onto the set, focusing attention on the gun handler and ammunition supplier.
The researchers found that Gutierrez-Reed had planted the deadly bullet in Baldwin’s pistol, rather than using a similar-looking dummy bullet.
Detectives spoke of a lax attitude towards security during filming, while crew members later stated that precautions were taken.
The accident shocked Hollywood and led to calls for a complete ban on the use of real weapons on filming.
Industry experts said strict safety rules already exist and the only way for an accident like this to happen is if they are ignored.
Baldwin reached an undisclosed settlement with the Hutchins family last year. It was also announced at the time that production on the low-budget film would restart this year.
The widower, Matthew Hutchins, who will become executive producer, said: “All the original lead actors” will return to the set.
Souza assured that he would dedicate his work to the film to “honor Halyna’s legacy and make her proud.”
*With information from AFP.
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Alec Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter for shooting on the set of the movie ‘Rust’
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