Alec Baldwin And “Rust” Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Will Be Charged With Involuntarily Manslaughter For The Shooting Death Of Halyna Hutchins
If you tried to open Instagram just now, it probably shook before shutting down out of fear that it’s about to get hit with a giant wave of smug rage from Alec Baldwin releasing five hundred screamy videos at once. Because prosecutors in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, announced today that Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez–Reed should be held responsible for the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust in October 2021. Halyna was only 42 years old and tragically left behind a 9-year-old son. Rust‘s director Joel Souza was also shot but survived and recovered from his injuries. Both Alec and Hannah will be charged with involuntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act.
via NBC News:
Baldwin and the movie’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, each will be charged with two counts. One of the counts is for involuntary manslaughter, in which prosecutors will have to prove there is underlying negligence, prosecutors said. This is a fourth-degree felony that carries a sentence of up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
The second charge is involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, a more severe charge which requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in a death, prosecutors said. This charge includes a firearm enhancement, which adds a mandatory penalty of five years in jail.
“Rust” assistant director David Halls signed a plea deal for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, resulting in a suspended sentence and six months of probation.
“If any one of these three people — Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed or David Halls — had done their job, Halyna Hutchins would be alive today. It’s that simple,” Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor on the case, said in a statement Thursday. “The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set.”
No charges will be filed in connection with Joel Souza’s injuries. Alec and Hannah are expected to be formally charged later this month. The Hollywood Reporter explains that Alec and Hannah will be “charged in the alternative with the two counts of manslaughter, meaning that a jury will decide not only if they are guilty but under which definition of involuntary manslaughter they are guilty.”
Rust‘s assistant director Dave Halls, who allegedly yelled “cold gun” (meaning the gun didn’t contain any live rounds) before handing the gun to Alec, has already taken a plea to the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. His punishment is a suspended sentence and six months probation. Alec has claimed that he didn’t pull the trigger and the gun went off by itself, a claim that the feds threw a serious side-eye at. Hannah has also denied any wrongdoing, saying that she’s not sure how a live round got onto the set. She later filed a lawsuit against the company that provided the ammunition claiming the boxes were only supposed to be filled with dummy rounds. Alec filed his own lawsuit against Hannah, Dave Halls, prop supplier Seth Kenney, and prop master Sarah Zachry for negligence.
And late last year, Halyna’s widower Matthew Hutchins settled his wrongful death lawsuit against Rust‘s production company and its producers, including Alec Baldwin. Matthew also joined Rust as an executive producer and vowed that the movie would be finished. Even though Matthew settled with Rust‘s producers, he said in a statement through his lawyer that his family agrees with the decision to charge Alec and Hannah.
“We want to thank the Santa Fe Sheriff and the District Attorney for concluding their thorough investigation and determining that charges for involuntary manslaughter are warranted for the killing of Halyna Hutchins with conscious disregard for human life. Our independent investigation also supports charges are warranted. It is comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law. We support the charges.”
Lawyers for Alec and Hannah also issued statements, and they both plan to fight the charges. via People:
In a statement to PEOPLE, Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel said, “This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents 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,” Nikas added. “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,” the attorney concluded.
Jason Bowles and Todd J. Bullion, attorneys for Gutierrez-Reed, said in a statement, “Hannah is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident. But she did not commit involuntary manslaughter. These charges are the result of a very flawed investigation, and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts. We intend to bring the full truth to light and believe Hannah will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury.”
Production was supposed to start up again this month. We’ll see if that happens because Alec Baldwin will probably be busy proclaiming his innocence to anybody who puts a mic in front of him. And besides that, Alec’s wife, Hilaria Baldwin, may be furiously trying to get him to busto mucho el nuttos (yes, that’s the exact Spanish translation, don’t question Hilaria) as possible into little plastic cups so that they can make even more embryos in case he’s sent to the clink.
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