Alec Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in Rust shooting

Alec Baldwin
(Image credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Alec Baldwin is set to be criminally charged in connection with the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of his film Rust in 2021.

New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced Thursday that her office will file two involuntary manslaughter charges against the actor by the end of this month. The film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is also being charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Hutchins was killed on the set of Rust after a prop gun Baldwin was holding accidentally went off, fatally striking the cinematographer. Baldwin has denied responsibility for her death, maintaining he did not pull the trigger of the gun and was told it was empty before it was handed to him.

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The film's assistant director, Dave Halls, has reached a plea agreement on the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, under which he will receive a suspended sentence and six months of probation, prosecutors said.

"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," special prosecutor Andrea Reeb said. "It's that simple. The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the Rust film set. In New Mexico, there is no room for film sets that don't take our state's commitment to gun safety and public safety seriously."

The involuntary manslaughter charges Baldwin is facing carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail. But the second charge of involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, which "requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved," includes a firearm enhancement, and prosecutors noted this "makes the crime punishable by a mandatory five years in jail."

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