Alec Baldwin To Be Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter
Last October, it was announced that the the producers of the Western film Rust had settled a wrongful death lawsuit over the October 2021 incident that took the life of the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. At the time, the producers claimed that with the suit settled, the film would actually resume production, with Hutchins’ husband, Matthew, now listed as an executive producer on the project.
But that was the civil case about Hutchins’ death. At that time, the local district attorney had not yet determined whether or not to file criminal charges in the incident, which saw Hutchins die after being struck by a live round discharged from a gun held by Rust star and producer Alec Baldwin. (Rust direcetor Joel Souza was injured in the same incident, but survived.)
Today, New Mexico prosecutors announced that Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter for his role in the incident. So will Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer on the film, and the person who was in charge of the firearms on the Rust set.
Andrea Reeb, a special prosecutor assigned to the case, said this in a statement:
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. 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.
(David Halls was the assistant director on Rust; he has pled guilty to a charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon.)
In an interview not long after the incident, Baldwin claimed he had no idea how a live round wound up inside the gun. He also insisted he did not even pull the trigger of the weapon during the incident, and said the gun went off while he was rehearsing a shot and cocking the hammer of the pistol. Gutierrez-Reed, Rust’s armorer, has previously filed a lawsuit against the company that supplied her with the movie’s ammunition, claiming they were only supposed to supply her with “dummy” rounds. It is not yet clear, if it ever will be clear, exactly how live rounds wound up on the Rust set and in the gun that killed Hutchins.