Jan 31, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Alec Baldwin formally charged with involuntary manslaughter

The actor Alec Baldwin leaves at New York Supreme Court

Alec Baldwin at the New York Supreme Court in 2019. Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Prosecutors on Tuesday formally filed involuntary manslaughter charges against actor Alec Baldwin and a weapons specialist in the fatal shooting on the film set of “Rust.”

Driving the news: The filing comes nearly two weeks after New Mexico's district attorney's office first announced the charges against Baldwin and the film set's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, for their alleged role in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

  • Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are each charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, while David Halls, an assistant director on "Rust," is charged with one count of negligent use of a deadly weapon.
  • Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed were both named in the charging documents filed by Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.
  • “Today we have taken another important step in securing justice for Halyna Hutchins,” Carmack-Altwies said in a statement emailed to Axios. “In New Mexico, no one is above the law and justice will be served."
  • Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed both vowed to fight the charges, per AP.

The big picture: Baldwin has denied responsibility for Hutchins' death, arguing the set should not have had live rounds, Reuters reported.

  • The actor filed a lawsuit in November against members of the film crew, alleging there was wrongdoing on the set.
  • Representatives for Baldwin declined Axios' request for comment.

Catch up quick: In October 2021, Baldwin allegedly fired a prop gun on the set of “Rust" after he was told the gun was not loaded, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza, AP reports.

  • Gutierrez-Reed was the film's armorer and was in charge of the firearms on set.
  • The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office did not charge anyone in the shooting. But the office released a full report in 2022 about the incident, suggesting there had been several issues with weapons on the movie set.
  • In October of last year, Baldwin reached a settlement with Hutchins's family in a wrongful death lawsuit, the family attorney told Axios.
  • As a part of the settlement, Matthew Hutchins, the widower of Halyna Hutchins, will now be credited as an executive producer on “Rust” and receive a share of the film's profits once it’s released.

Worth noting: Involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison, according to New Mexico law.

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