SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Actor Alec Baldwin and a weapons expert have been formally charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a cameraman on a New Mexico movie set, according to court documents prosecutors filed Tuesday. crime.
Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altweis filed charging documents that named Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who oversaw weapons on the set of the western “Rust,” and outlined their Evidence of repeated deviations from known safety standards.
On October 10, Halyna Hutchins was injured while rehearsing at a ranch outside Santa Fe and died shortly after. February 21, 2021. When shots rang out, Baldwin pointed a pistol at Hutchins, killing her and wounding director Joel Souza.
Prosecutors said Baldwin’s involvement as a producer and shooter influenced the decision to press charges.
In recent weeks, Carmack-Altwies has outlined two groups of involuntary homicide charges charges related to the shooting.
The manslaughter charges filed Tuesday against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed include two alternative standards and sanctions.
One version requires proof of negligence, which under New Mexico law carries a penalty of up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The second option is to recklessly ignore security “without due care and caution”. It has a higher misconduct threshold and includes “firearms enhancements” that can lead to a mandatory five-year prison sentence because the crime is committed with a firearm.
Prosecutors said a jury may ultimately decide which definition of manslaughter to use.
A probable cause statement outlining Baldwin’s evidence said there were numerous “extremely reckless acts” or reckless failures to take precautions in the days and minutes leading up to the fatal shooting.
Investigators said Baldwin drew a revolver from its holster and fired at Hutchins, instead of a plastic or replica gun, which is standard in the industry.
It said photos and video of the rehearsal, including the moments before the fatal shooting, showed Baldwin sticking his fingers into the trigger guard and trigger as he “manipulated” the pistol’s hammer, and that the FBI’s analysis showed the pistol was not pulled when the trigger was pulled.
Investigators said Baldwin did not participate in mandatory firearms training before the shooting, and he did not fully complete the on-site training because he was distracted by calls from his family. They also cited multiple violations of required safety checks and protocols when the firearms were loaded and presented to Baldwin.
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed maintained their innocence and vowed to fight the charges.
Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, declined to comment on Tuesday, referring to his previous statement on the case in which he called the allegations a “terrible miscarriage of justice” that he and his client will fight and resolve. win.
“Mr. Baldwin has no reason to believe that there was a live ammunition in the gun or anywhere in the movie scene,” the statement said. “He relies on the professionals who work with him.”
Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys said they would issue a statement later.
Prosecutors say Baldwin failed to account for Gutierrez-Reed’s relative inexperience as an uncertified armorer on assignment for her second film when she was a producer on “Rusty.” . They claim that Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed skipped critical security checks for the gun and its ammunition, and that Baldwin should know better than an actor with extensive experience in films involving guns.
“Standard protocol is for the arms dealer to show the actor the gun, pull the bullets in front of the actor, and certify that there was no live ammunition (but fake) in the gun,” investigators said. “Hannah Gutierrez-Reed did not enforce this protocol in front of Baldwin. Baldwin No objection.”
Prosecutors also did a new tally of live ammunition on set — noting that authorities found five more rounds of live ammunition, including a round in a Baldwin holster, as well as an ammo box, a gun holster, a weapons cart and items from Gutierrei. One of the live ammunition captured by Sidney – Reed.
Hutchins’ death has led to new safety precautions in the movie industry.
Carmack-Altwies told The Associated Press in January. In an interview on the 19th, he said that the set “runs really fast and loose”, and that Baldwin should know that there has been a fire on the set before, and many people have raised safety concerns.
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will receive summonses to appear in court. Prosecutors will forego a grand jury and rely on a judge to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. It may take up to 60 days for a decision to be made.
Involuntary manslaughter can involve killings that occur while the accused is doing something legal but dangerous and acts negligently or carelessly.
Prosecutors said the proposed plea agreement, signed by assistant director David Halls, who oversaw security on set, has not yet been approved by a judge and therefore cannot be released.
Prosecutors previously said Halles had agreed to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon. Prosecutors said Holes may have mishandled the gun before handing it over to Baldwin.
District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Heather Brewer said in a statement Monday that prosecutors are “fully committed to achieving justice for Halina Hutchins” and that “the evidence and facts speak for themselves.”
Baldwin, who is also a co-producer on “Rust,” described the killing as a tragic accident. The 64-year-old actor said he was told the gun was safe and tried to clear his name by prosecuting the people involved in handling and supplying the loaded .45-caliber revolver.
In his lawsuit, Baldwin said that while working on camera angles with Hutchins, he pointed the gun in her direction, then pulled back and released the weapon’s hammer, which fired.
Defense attorney Jason Bowles, representing Gutierrez-Reed, said the allegations were the result of a “flawed investigation” and “an inaccurate understanding of the full facts.”
Defendants can participate remotely in many initial court proceedings or seek an initial court appearance waiver.
The decision to charge Baldwin marks a stunning turn of events For an A-list actor, his 40-year career includes early lead roles in the blockbuster “Hunt for Red October” and the sitcom “30 Rock,” as well as roles in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” and An iconic performance in the film adaptation or David Mamet’s “Glengary Glen Ross”. In recent years, Baldwin has become known for his impression of former President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live.”
Associated Press entertainment writer Andrew Dalton in Los Angeles contributed to this report.