Both Baldwin and the film’s armorer are being charged for the unintentional shooting of Halyna Hutchins.
Back in 2021, during filming for the film Rust, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot when actor Alec Baldwin unknowingly fired a real bullet from a prop gun. This sparked off a major investigation to determine who was at fault for the incident and what specifically caused it. Baldwin insisted he never pulled the trigger of the gun, while set armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed claimed the rounds were supposed to be fake.
This week, a decision has been reached in the case. For the death of Halyna Hutchins, both Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed will be charged with involuntary manslaughter on the grounds that while the death was not intentional, they both failed to ensure the safety of the prop gun before using it on set.
“Every person that handles a gun has a duty to make sure that if they’re going to handle that gun, point it at someone and pull the trigger, that it is not going to fire a projectile and kill someone,” New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies told CNN.
Actor Alec Baldwin says he was blind-sided by the announcement
that he will be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the “Rust” movie shooting. @joshscampbell reports from Santa Fe, NM: pic.twitter.com/gzLeXoI7dZ
— CNN This Morning (@CNNThisMorning) January 20, 2023
A jury will be assembled to select a court to hear the case. In the event of conviction, Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed could receive up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine, though the presence of a firearm in the case could extend the prison sentence to as many as five years.
Carmack-Altwies stressed that “just because it’s an accident doesn’t mean that it’s not criminal.”
“Our involuntary manslaughter statute covers unintentional killings,” she said. “Unintentional that means they didn’t mean to do it. They didn’t have the intent to kill. But it happened anyway, and it happened because of more than mere negligence… They didn’t exercise due caution or circumspection and that’s what happened here.”