Alec Baldwin, film crew charged with manslaughter
LOS ANGELES, California (AFP) — Alec Baldwin is to be charged with involuntary manslaughter over the accidental shooting of a cinematographer on the set of the low-budget western “Rust,” a prosecutor said Thursday.
Baldwin was holding the Colt .45 during rehearsals for the film when it discharged, killing Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza in October 2021.
The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was responsible for the weapon, will also be charged with the same crime, New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced.
If convicted, they both face up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine, but a firearm enhancement could take that sentence to five years.
“After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the ‘Rust’ film crew,” Carmack-Altwies said.
“On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”
Baldwin, 64, has repeatedly said he was told by the crew that the gun was not loaded.
The former “30 Rock” star has also previously insisted he did not pull the trigger, though Federal Bureau of Investigation firearms experts have said this is not possible.
Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, vowed to beat the charge, which he called a “terrible miscarriage of justice.”
“Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set,” he said.
“He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”
Lawyers for Gutierrez-Reed said they were confident the young armorer would be cleared.
“Hannah is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident. But she did not commit involuntary manslaughter,” a statement issued by attorneys Jason Bowles and Todd Bullion said.
“These charges are the result of a very flawed investigation, and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts.”
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