Despite claiming he didn’t fire the gun that fatally hit cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021 on set, the DA felt there was enough evidence for criminal charges.
Alec Baldwin and the armorer on the set of Rust were both charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Baldwin was prepping for a scene at a ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico when he fired the shot, allegedly unaware there was live ammo in the gun. The armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, is in charge of loading the weapons on set. In New Mexico, involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence of up to 18 months in jail and a $5000 fine if convicted. Because a firearm was used, a second charge called a “firearm enhancement” was added that could mean 5 years in jail. The movie’s Assistant Director, Dave Halls, agreed to a plea deal for “negligent use of a deadly weapon.”
The DA, Mary Cartmack-Altwies says “three people…if they would have done their jobs…we wouldn’t be here.” She says it will be the jury’s job to figure out not only if they are guilty, but under which definition of involuntary manslaughter they are guilty of.
Baldwin’s attorney released a statement saying that decision “distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice.” “Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”