On Thursday, the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies declared that Oscar-nominated actor Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed are to be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in relation to Halyna Hutchins’ fatal shooting on the set of “Rust” Western movie. This news comes as a shock amid speculation surrounding what led up this incident.
David Halls, the film’s first assistant director, has decided to plead guilty to inappropriately handling a deadly weapon in court as confirmed by the district attorney.
Luke Nikas, Baldwin’s lawyer, expressed his vehement dissatisfaction with the ruling calling it a “terrible miscarriage of justice” and arguing that there was no reason for Baldwin to think there were live bullets in the gun. He has asserted that since professionals promised him otherwise, he had every right to rely on their word. With conviction in his voice, Nikas pledged to battle the charges head-on and come out victorious at trial.
Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney noted that his client is not to blame and the allegations stem from a faulty inquiry.
Involuntary manslaughter is generally considered a fourth-degree felony and carries penalties of up to 18 months in prison, as well as a $5,000 fine. However, if the crime includes use of firearms then the punishment increases drastically – with a mandatory sentence of five years imprisonment handed down by prosecutors.
“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 stated.
“On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”
Tragically, on October 21st 2021 – mere moments after rehearsing with a pistol for the church scene of “Rust” at Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico – Hutchins was shot and killed. Furthermore, director Joel Souza also suffered an injury as a result of this unfortunate event.
The prosecution asserts that the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins could have been avoided had any one of these three individuals fulfilled their responsibilities. It is evident from this case that there has been a pattern of reckless behavior on the Rust film set and New Mexico will not tolerate negligence toward gun safety or general public protection.
At only 42, Halyna Hutchins was taken from us all too soon. Leaving behind her loving husband Matthew and their 9-year-old son Aldous to mourn her passing. This tragedy ought to be a wake-up call for everyone—that gun safety is not something we can take lightly in any situation; especially on film sets where precious lives are in jeopardy. Her family, friends, and colleagues will miss Halyna dearly and it serves as a reminder of the importance of taking public safety seriously at all times.
It remains uncertain how the legal situation will proceed, however, it is plainly evident that Alec Baldwin and everyone else in the Rust film team are facing grave consequences.