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Alec Baldwin to be charged over fatal ‘Rust’ shooting

Alec Baldwin on the “Rust” set immediately following the shooting of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza in New Mexico. (Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office/TNS)
January 19, 2023

Actor Alec Baldwin will be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halnya Hutchins on a movie set in 2021.

The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, will face the same charges over Hutchins’ death, New Mexico District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced in a written statement Thursday. 

The charges will be filed before the end of the month, according to the statement.

Baldwin was practicing drawing an old-fashioned revolver on set Oct. 21, 2021 when it fired, killing 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

No charges are going to be filed specifically over the shooting of Souza, according to the statement.

Gutierrez-Reed, who was in charge of the film’s weapons, has said she thought all the rounds being fired were blanks. She sued the prop supplier that sold them, alleging they mixed live and dummy ammo together, as reported by the New York Post.

Assistant director David Halls, who handed Baldwin the gun, signed a plea agreement to be charged with negligent use of a deadly weapon. The terms of his plea include a suspended sentence and six months of probation, according to the statement.

READ MORE: Alec Baldwin sues 3 ‘Rust’ movie crew members over receiving loaded gun

“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,” said Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor appointed to the case. “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.”

There are differences between the two involuntary manslaughter charges Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will each face, according to the statement.

One of the charges requires proof of underlying negligence. The other, involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act “requires proof that there was more than simple negligence,” according to the statement.

Both involuntary manslaughter charges are punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. A firearm enhancement on the latter charge adds a mandatory five years in jail.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.