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Alec Baldwin charged with involuntary manslaughter over fatal shooting on Rust film set | Ents & Arts News

Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin has been formally charged with manslaughter in New Mexico for fatally shooting a cameraman on the set of Rust.

Baldwin promised to challenge the charges against him, and his lawyer called the case “a terrible miscarriage of justice.”

Galina Hutchins42, died after shooting a rifle held by the 64-year-old star during film rehearsals in October 2021.

Actor Alec Baldwin leaves his home in New York.
Baldwin is pictured in New York when the charges were to be formally filed.

The charge, which carries a five-year prison sentence, will require prosecutors to convince jurors that Baldwin was not only careless but reckless in his use of firearms.

Legal experts said prosecutors would fight for a guilty verdict without evidence. Baldwin and Gutiérrez-Reid were aware of the presence of live ammunition but took no precautions.

Her family welcomed the allegations when they were announced earlier in January, saying Baldwin showed “a conscious disregard for human life”.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reid was a gunsmith on the set of Rust.  Image from file: Shutterstock
Hannah Gutierrez-Reid was a gunsmith on the set of Rust. Image from file: Shutterstock

Hannah Gutierrez-Reid, who was in charge of weapons on the set of Rust, was also charged with manslaughter, and assistant director Dave Halls signed a plea agreement for negligent use of a deadly weapon.

Photo: Dave Halls/Twitter
Photo: Dave Halls/Twitter

Industry-wide firearm safety regulations direct actors to assume that the firearm is loaded with blanks and to rely on professional gun handlers to ensure the safety of the gun.

Actors are told to point their guns at a person only under the guidance of firearms specialists. Live ammunition is strictly prohibited on set.

Gutierrez-Reid said she checked that the cartridges she loaded into the revolver were dummies before handing it over to Hall.

According to police, Halls handed it to Baldwin, telling him it was a “cold gun” or unloaded.

Read more: Alec Baldwin faces criminal retribution, but he remains brash and even optimistic

The decision on the charge came about three months after prosecutors received the final report on the shooting from the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office after a lengthy investigation that also involved the FBI.

An investigation by the sheriff’s office has yet to reveal how live ammunition got on the set.

Special Counsel Andrea Reeb said at the time: “If just one of these three people—Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reid, or David Halls—had done their job, Halina Hutchins would be alive today. It is so simple.

Cameraman Galina Hutchins was killed during a shootout on the set of the western Rust.  Photo: Swen Studios/Reuters
Cameraman Galina Hutchins was killed during a shootout on the set of the western Rust. Photo: Swen Studios/Reuters

“The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the set of Rust. There’s no place in New Mexico for movie sets that don’t take our state’s commitment to gun safety and public safety seriously.”

Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Oltvis said, “No one is above the law and everyone deserves justice.”

A spokesperson for her office added: “The evidence and facts speak for themselves.”

Read more:
Alec Baldwin vows to challenge Rust shooting charge
Baldwin pulled the trigger, according to the FBI.
Key moments from Baldwin’s post-production interview

On December 7, Gutiérrez-Reed testified to the New Mexico Workers’ Safety Agency that the shooting could have been prevented if she had had more time to train Baldwin. She said he was in “bad form” when using a revolver.

But Gabrielle Pickle, the film’s line producer, told the agency that Gutierrez-Reid was given all the days she requested to fulfill her duties.

Baldwin and production company Rust settlement agreement reached for an undisclosed sum with the Hutchins family in October and announced that production on the film would resume this year. After the criminal charges were announced, the film’s lawyer confirmed that Baldwin would remain in the title role in the film.

Hutchins’ husband Matt will also serve as executive producer, while Joel Souza, who was injured in the shooting, will return as director.

Several other lawsuits were also filed in connection with the shooting.

Hutchins died on set near Sante Fe, New Mexico, when the revolver Baldwin was rehearsing with fired a live bullet.

Baldwin denied any involvement in the shooting, stating that live ammunition was not allowed on the set and gun operators were responsible for gun safety.

An investigation by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office has yet to reveal how live ammunition made it onto the set in the first place.

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