Alec Baldwin was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter for the tragic, accidental shooting on the set of Rust on Thursday, January 19. The charges against the actor, 64, were announced by the Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies. Prop armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. There will be a preliminary hearing for Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed. Assistant director David Hall was also revealed to have taken a plea agreement for negligent use of a deadly weapon. He received six months of probation and a suspended sentence.
The DA shared that both the actor and armorer would be “charged in the alternative,” meaning a jury will decide which count of involuntary manslaughter they should be charged with if they are found guilty. If they’re found guilty on the first charge, they will face up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. The first charge also includes a misdemeanor negligent use of a firearm charge. The second charge would carry the same prison time and fine, but would include a firearm enhancement, which may also include an additional five years in jail.
Carmack-Altwies announced the charges in a statement, received by HollywoodLife. “After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the ‘Rust’ film crew,” she said.
Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel said that the actor would fight the charges in a statement, obtained by HollywoodLife. “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,” he said.
Special Prosecutor Andrea Reeb also spoke about the charges in a statement. “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 said. “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 DA had shared that charges may be brought against the 30 Rock star in a funding-request document sharing that there may be up to four jury trials regarding the shooting. “One of the possible defendants is well-known movie actor Alec Baldwin,” the document said, per The New York Times.
It’s been nearly a year since the fatal on-set shooting, which killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, in October 2021. A lawyer for Halyna’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin and other producers for Rust in February. While it wasn’t disclosed how much the family is seeking, the lawyer did give an emotional statement about the loss that the cinematographer’s family has endured since her death in a press conference. “This son has lost his mother. It is a young boy who will never have a mother,” he said. “And a man who lost his wife, his soulmate. That goes on forever and ever.”
Alec has given multiple interviews since the shooting, and he mourned her death when he first sat down with ABC News in December 2021. “I would go to any lengths to undo what happened,” he said. In the interview, the actor also maintained his innocence, saying that he didn’t intend to fire the shot, which killed Halyna. “The trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger,” he said.
Halyna’s husband Matt has also criticized Alec for giving interviews since his wife’s tragic death. “I was just so angry to see him talk about her death so publicly in such a detailed way and then to not accept any responsibility after having just described killing her,” he told NBC News.