February 1, 2023

Alec Baldwin charged for manslaughter over fatal shooting on ‘Rust’ set

By Ada Osabebe

American producer, Alec Baldwin has been charged by Santa Fe County, New Mexico, district attorney’s office with a crime in connection with the fatal shooting that occurred in 2021 on the set of ‘Rust.’

According to CNN, Alec Baldwin was formally charged on Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal 2021 shooting of a cinematographer on the New Mexico set of Rust, the Santa Fe-area district attorney said in a statement.

DA Mary Carmack-Altwies, the armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who was in charge of the weaponry used in the Western film, has also been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Both defendants’ attorneys have previously maintained that their clients are innocent.

According to the district attorney’s office, David Halls, the movie’s associate director, has been charged with careless use of a deadly weapon. Halls has pleaded not guilty and entered a plea deal that is still pending approval.

The director of photography for the film Rust, Halyna Hutchins, 42, and the director, Joel Souza, 48, “were shot when a prop handgun was discharged by Alec Baldwin” in October 2021.

Hutchins passed away after being taken to a hospital in Albuquerque, but Souza lived. There won’t be any legal action taken in connection with Souza’s wounds.

Baldwin, who’s 64, and Gutierrez-Reed, 25, each face two different types of involuntary manslaughter charge.

According to the DA’s office, a jury will decide not only whether it finds Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed guilty, but which definition of involuntary manslaughter, if either, applies.

Both types of charge involve fourth-degree felonies. One will require proof of negligence and is punishable under New Mexico law by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

The second type of manslaughter charge, for reckless disregard of safety “without due caution and circumspection,” could result in a mandatory five years in prison because it involved a gun.

Halls and Gutierrez Reed both handled the gun before it was given to Baldwin on the day of the shooting.

“The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the Rust film set,” Andrea Reeb, the case’s special prosecutor, said in a statement earlier this month announcing the intent to file charges.

“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 has maintained he was not aware the gun he fired during a rehearsal contained a live round.