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EntertainmentBaldwin, 'Rust' Armorer To Be Charged In Fatal Movie Set Shooting

Baldwin, ‘Rust’ Armorer To Be Charged In Fatal Movie Set Shooting

 

15 months after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot by Alec Baldwin on the “Rust” movie set, prosecutors announced they will charge the actor and the film’s armorer with involuntary manslaughter, accusing the pair of failing to perform essential firearm safety duties that could have prevented the tragic accident.

Hutchins was killed on the film’s New Mexico set in October 2021 when a prop gun Baldwin was holding fired a live round of ammunition, striking Hutchins in the chest and hitting director Joel Souza in the shoulder.

Baldwin has maintained that he never pulled the trigger and was not aware the gun contained live rounds. Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the set armorer who loaded the prop gun, says she believed the rounds were dummy ammunition, according to her lawyer.

Prosecutors, however, said both Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed were responsible for checking the safety of the prop.

“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 Thursday.

Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed will each face two counts of involuntary manslaughter, but each count carries a different level of punishment, Carmack-Altwies said when she announced the charges.

A jury will decide which count may be more appropriate and, if convicted, they will only be sentenced to one count, the prosecutor said.

In either case, a conviction is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. But one charge carries an additional firearms enhancement — because a gun was involved — and would require a mandatory punishment of five years in jail, the prosecutor said.

The charges will be formally filed by the end of the month, Carmack-Altwies told CNN.

The prosecutor said she will not request the arrests of Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed. Instead, they will be summoned to appear in court either in-person or virtually, she said.

As the trial looms, CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig said prosecutors will have to overcome significant challenges, including not knowing how live rounds got on set and experts’ varying opinions on the on-set responsibilities of actors and crew members.

“Remember, this is a criminal case. You need all 12 jurors to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. So I’m not saying that there’s no chance here, but this is a really difficult case for the prosecution,” Honig said.

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