The Angels – A New Mexico prosecutor formalized on Tuesday involuntary manslaughter charges against actor Alec Baldwin for the death of the cinematographer Halyna Hutchinswho died of a shot to the chest during the filming of the movie “Rust” in October 2021.
New Mexico’s First Judicial District Attorney, Mary Carmack-Altwies, had already announced nearly two weeks ago that she intended to file criminal charges against Baldwin, as well as Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the gunsmith and security protocol officer.
In the indictment, Carmack-Altwies on Tuesday listed a series of security flaws and claimed that Baldwin knew the protocol, since he had participated in more than 40 films in which firearms were used.
A procedure by which the gunsmith should have been present to verify that the weapon was safe and not trust the assistant director, David Halls, because “he had no power to authorize the use of the revolver.”
In addition, the prosecutor stated that Baldwin should have received a minimum of half an hour training on the use of firearms, but that he did not comply with it because “most of the time he was talking on his cell phone with his family.”
On the other hand, Baldwin, as producer of the film, “should never” have allowed the hiring of Hannah Gutierrez-Reed because “she lacked the necessary training and experience,” according to the prosecutor.
Carmack-Altwies made the charges official after 15 months of speculation about Baldwin’s involvement in the event, who fired a prop weapon containing live ammunition, when this type of bullet is prohibited on filming.
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed could now face a criminal trial that could cost them up to five years in prison. The decision could take up to 60 days.
Assistant director David Halls signed a misdemeanor plea agreement with the prosecution accepting the charge of “negligent use of a deadly weapon” and six months probation.
Baldwin -known for tapes such as “Pearl Harbor”- has defended his innocence in different interviews with the media, alleging that the responsibility for ensuring the safety of the weapons in “Rust” was assigned to Gutierrez-Reed and that he never pressed the button. trigger, but the gun went off because it was defective.
However, after analyzing the audiovisual material obtained by the authorities, the prosecutor assured that there are “multiple photographs and videos” that show him with his finger on the trigger and that he violated the first safety rule on filming: “Never point a weapon of fire, loaded or not, to another person”.
The investigation by the Santa Fe County (New Mexico, USA) sheriff’s office has not yet been able to reveal how the live ammunition got to the filming set.
Three months ago, Baldwin and the rest of the film’s producers reached an agreement to end the wrongful-death civil lawsuit that the Hutchins family had filed against them.
At the expense of the deal being approved by a judge, production on the film is expected to resume this year.