Alec Baldwin and the armorer will be charged in the fatal on-set shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins with involuntary manslaughter. Halyna died in October 2021. Alec was holding the Colt.45 while preparing to film a scene in the church building of the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, N.M, when the gun discharged, killing Halyna and wounding director Joel Souza. The armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed had loaded the weapon. New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced the charges in a statement on Thursday.
Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed each face two counts of involuntary manslaughter, which carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. They will also be charged with an enhancement for use of firearm which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. David Halls, the film’s first assistant director, has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of “negligent use of a deadly weapon” as announced by the prosecutor in the case. Halls had handed the loaded Colt.45 to Baldwin. Halls will be given six months of probation under the plea agreement but will not serve jail time.
Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor appointed by Carmack-Altwies to oversee the case said 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.”
Brian Panish, the attorney for Halyna’s widower and son, issued a statement Thursday on behalf of the family expressing support for the charges. He said, “We want to thank the Santa Fe Sheriff and the District Attorney for concluding their thorough investigation and determining that charges for involuntary manslaughter are warranted for the killing of Halyna Hutchins with conscious disregard for human life. Our independent investigation also supports charges are warranted. It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law. We support the charges, will fully cooperate with this prosecution, and fervently hope the justice system works to protect the public and hold accountable those who break the law.”
Baldwin has repeatedly argued that he is not to be blamed for the incident as he was told by the crew that the gun was not loaded. He had previously said that he did not pull the trigger and that the gun went off when he let go of the hammer, but an FBI forensic analysis determined that the gun was functioning normally casting doubt on this claim.