The American actor will be charged with involuntary manslaughter for accidentally shooting at his Rust cinematographer in October 2021.
According to BBC, the 64-year-old actor will be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter for shooting the movie’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, and director, Joel Souza, on set.
Santa Fe’s District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced the charges on Thursday, January 19.
“Actor and producer Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed will each be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. I have determined that there is sufficient evidence.”
“On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice,” Mary Carmack-Altwies said in her statement.
“Both face up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 (£4,040) fine if convicted. They will be tried by a jury, prosecutors said,” BBC reported.
The incident occurred when Baldwin was rehearsing with a gun on the set of Rust in New Mexico.
“Baldwin had been practicing drawing his gun from his holster. The bullet pierced Souza’s shoulder but fired directly into Hutchins’ chest. She was rushed to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead, to the shock and horror of the film cast and crew,” Daily Mail reported.
In the aftermath of the incident, it was revealed that their staff members accused the production team of being careless with weapons and running unsafe sets.
“Some said they were forced to sleep in their cars next to the set because hotel rooms next to the set were too expensive. Instead, their rooms were booked in Santa Fe, which is a 30-minute drive from Bonanza Creek Ranch, the location of the set.”
The shooting was taking place on the outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The Gossip Girl alum, who previously claimed he didn’t pull the trigger, now vows to fight the charges.
“Terrible miscarriage of justice,” his attorney commented on his behalf.
It has been reported that the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, will also be charged.
“He and Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed are facing a maximum of 18 months in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter. If they’re also convicted of a firearm enhancement on that charge, they’ll face a mandatory five-year prison sentence,” per Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, Dave Halls, the assistant director of Rust, has already pleaded guilty to being negligent with the weapon.
“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.”
“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,” Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, stated.
Hannah Gutierrez Reed’s attorney told CNN that he believes the jurors will not find his client guilty.
“We were expecting the charges, but they’re absolutely wrong as to Hannah – we expect that she will be found not guilty by a jury and she did not commit manslaughter,” attorney Jason Bowles said in his statement.
“She has been emotional about the tragedy but has committed no crime.”
Last year, in an interview with CNN, Alec Baldwin said that his armorer, Hannah Reed, and assistant director, Dave Halls were responsible for the tragic incident. He said they handed him the gun, and he had no idea it contained a live round.
“In November, Baldwin filed suit against Gutierrez Reed and Halls and other individuals associated with the film, according to a cross-complaint obtained by CNN.”
Both Reed and Halls denied Alec’s claims and maintained that the actor was playing a ‘blame game’ to save himself.
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