Alec Baldwin spoke to CNN about the incident at “Rust” 4:25
(CNN) — Actor-producer Alec Baldwin was charged Thursday with “negligent homicide” in the fatal shooting on the set of “Rust,” Santa Fe prosecutors said.
“‘Rust’ actor-producer Alec Baldwin and gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed are each charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the Rust County set of the 2021 film. Santa Fe, New Mexico 1st Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said Thursday morning.
The film’s assistant director, David Halls, has signed a plea agreement “on the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon,” prosecutors also said in their statement, adding that the terms of that agreement include a six-month suspended probation.
No charges will be brought against director Joel Souza, the statement said.
In a written statement, Baldwin’s attorney, Chloe Melas, said the decision “distorted the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins.”
“Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun or anywhere on the film set. He relied on the professionals he worked with to assure him the gun had no bullets. We will fight these allegations and we will win,” he said.
For his part, gun company Gutiérrez Reed attorney Jason Bowles issued a statement declaring that “You are absolutely wrong about Hannah: We expect a jury to find her not guilty and to conclude that she did not commit manslaughter. She was shocked by the tragedy but committed no crimes.”
In March 2022, Gutierrez Reed had not been called to inspect the gun, which ultimately fired a live bullet, mortally wounding Hutchins. He made the statement in response to a legal motion in which Baldwin said Hutchins told him to cock the gun.
“Mr. Baldwin knew under no circumstances should he point a firearm at crew members and that he had a duty to protect his colleagues,” Gutierrez Reed said.
“However, before the fatal incident, he pointed the gun at Halyna against all rules and common sense,” he added.
CNN has reached out to actor Alec Baldwin and gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez Reed for comment and will also reach out to Halls and Souza.
The testimony of prosecutor Mary Carmack-Altwies
Prosecutor Mary Carmack-Altwies spoke Thursday with CNN’s Josh Campbell about the decision to press charges in the case. According to her, there were a number of factors that contributed to the decision, including “the lack of safety and security standards on this set, having firearms on set that were mixed with dummy guns.”
“Nobody checked that, or at least didn’t check it consistently. And then somehow a gun was loaded with live bullets and delivered to Alec Baldwin; he didn’t check, he didn’t do any of the things he should do to make sure he and the rest of the people around him are safe. And then he pointed the gun at Halyna Hutchins and pulled the trigger,” he said.
“It was a really relaxed set,” he said, adding, “No one did their job. There were three people who could have prevented this tragedy if they had done their job that day and they are David Halls, Hannah Gutierrez Reed and Alec Baldwin. If they had done their basic homework, we wouldn’t be here.”
Baldwin was holding a gun while rehearsing a scene for the film at Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico in October 2021 when a shot was fired, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.
Since then, the episode has sparked a whirlwind of allegations of negligence by those involved. Baldwin claims he didn’t pull the trigger.
The summary of the postmortem investigation into Hutchins’ death, officially signed by New Mexico’s chief medical examiner, lists the cause of death as “gunshot wound to the chest” and the cause of death as “accident.”
News in development.