New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced on Thursday that her office will file criminal charges in the “Rust” film-set shooting against actor and producer Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.
Each will be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the film’s Santa Fe County set in 2021, according to a release from Carmack-Altwies’ office.
Several lawsuits have been filed, and a settlement between Baldwin and Hutchins family is reportedly in the works. Baldwin is suing people involved in handling and supplying the loaded gun that he was using when it fired.
Assistant director David Halls signed a plea agreement for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, with terms that include a suspended sentence and six months of probation.
“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 in a statement.
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be “charged in the alternative” with the two counts of manslaughter, meaning that a jury would decide not simply if they were guilty, but under which definition of involuntary manslaughter they were guilty.
The first charge can be referred to simply as involuntary manslaughter. Proving that charge requires underlying negligence. Under New Mexico law, involuntary manslaughter is a fourth-degree felony and is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. This charge also includes the misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a firearm.
The other charge is involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act. This charge requires proof there was more than simple negligence involved in a death. This is also a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. The charge includes a firearm enhancement, or added mandatory penalty, because a firearm was involved. The firearm enhancement makes the crime punishable by a mandatory five years in jail.
“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,” Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor appointed by the district attorney to the case, said in a statement. “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.”
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