SANTA FE, N.M. (TCD) -- Prosecutors announced they are charging Alec Baldwin and crew member Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in connection with the shooting death of "Rust" cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
On Thursday, Jan. 19, New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies released a statement outlining the charges against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed, saying each has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Assistant director David Halls reportedly signed a plea agreement for negligent use of a deadly weapon.
Halls received a suspended sentence and six months of probation. "Rust" director Joel Souza will reportedly not be charged.
Hutchins was fatally shot in October 2021 in New Mexico after Baldwin reportedly pointed a prop gun at the camera and it went off, striking 42-year-old Hutchins and Souza. The gun was reportedly not supposed to have any live rounds in it, which was Gutierrez-Reed’s job as armorer on the set to oversee. Hutchins was airlifted to a hospital in Albuquerque, where she died.
According to the District Attorney’s statement, the first count of involuntary manslaughter means there must be proof of "underlying negligence." If convicted, Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed face a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
The other involuntary manslaughter count, which is in the commission of a lawful act, will be "charged in the alternative." The statement says the jury "would decide not simply if they were guilty, but under which definition of involuntary manslaughter they were guilty."
Prosecutors added a firearm enhancement to the charge, which means it is punishable by up to five years in jail if convicted. Charges will be formally filed by the end of the month.
Following the shooting, Baldwin reportedly tweeted, "There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."
In October 2022, Baldwin and the "Rust" production settled with Hutchins' estate, according to Variety. Halyna Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, was named an executive producer of the film. Other details of the settlement were not made public.
Variety reports Matthew Hutchins' attorney released a statement after the charges were announced, saying, "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 a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law."
The statement continued, "We support the charges, will fully cooperate with this prosecution, and fervently hope the justice system works to protect the public and hold accountable those who break the law."
Andrea Reeb, a special prosecutor brought up by the District Attorney’s office, said in the press release, "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."
She added, "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."