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Alec Baldwin officially charged with involuntary manslaughter following Rust shooting death

"No one is above the law."

Alec Baldwin has been formally charged with involuntary manslaughter following the 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western film Rust.

Baldwin fired a prop gun which accidentally held a live round, killing the 42-year-old.

New Mexico First Judicial District lawyer Mary Carmack-Altwies formally filed charges against the actor on January 30. The on-set armourer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was responsible for the weapon, has also been charged.

alec baldwin charged involuntary manslaughter
Actor Alec Baldwin has been formally charged with involuntary manslaughter following a fatal shooting on the set of the Western film Rust in 2021. Source: El Dorado Pictures.

“On the day of the shooting alone, evidence shows that no less than a dozen acts, or omissions of recklessness, occurred in the short time prior to lunch and the time of the shooting, and this does not include the reckless handling of the firearm by Baldwin,” Gutierrez-Reed wrote in court documents obtained by New Mexico’s KRQE News.

“By act or omission or failure to act in his position as a producer directly contributed and/or failed to mitigate numerous reckless and dangerous actions during a very short time period.”

Assistant director David Halls, who handed the actor the gun, previously accepted a misdemeanour charge in a plea deal.

According to several news sources, Baldwin could face up to 18 months in prison and a $US5000 ($7250) fine.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed called the Rust film set “fast and loose”

On January 19, Carmack-Altwies announced that she would be seeking charges.

She said it was a “fast and loose film set” and that “nobody was doing their job”, including Baldwin who should have checked to see if the firearm was loaded.

“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.

“On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice”.

The grieving family said in a statement that it was “a comfort that no one is above the law”; however, Baldwin will fight the charges.

What happened on the set of Rust?

On October 21, 2021, the 64-year-old actor was sitting in a pew on the set of a church at a Bonanza Creek ranch, Bonanza City.

He was rehearsing a scene when he reportedly pulled out the weapon and said: “So I guess I’m gonna take this (gun) out, pull it, and go: ‘Bang!’”

A pop sound allegedly went off, before both director Joel Souza and Hutchins realised they were bleeding.

A single bullet hit Hutchins in the chest and Souza in the shoulder.

Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of the Western film Rust in October 2021. Source: Instagram.

Baldwin will appear in court within 60 days to see if there is a cause for trial.

Speaking to CNN, Carmack-Altwies said: “Just because it is an accident doesn’t mean that it’s not criminal”.

“Unintentional means they didn’t mean to do it, they didn’t have the intent to kill, but it happened anyway — and it happened because of more than mere negligence, because they didn’t exercise due caution or circumspection, and that’s what happened here.”

“There were three people, that if they had done their job that day, this tragedy wouldn’t have happened — and that’s David Halls and Hannah Gutierrez Reed and Alec Baldwin. If they had just done their basic duties, we wouldn’t be standing here.”

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