Criminal charges in Rust shooting to be announced on Thursday
Judgement day for Alec Baldwin: Criminal charges in Rust shooting to be announced on Thursday morning – more than one year after Oscar-nominated actor accidentally shot dead cinematographer on set of western movie
- Halyna Hutchins was killed by live round inexplicably fired by Alec Baldwin
- The shooting happened on the set of their movie Rust in October 2021
- The Santa Fe set was subsequently shut down and an investigation launched
- A decision on who was at fault is set to be delivered by the Santa Fe DA’s office
The Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office is set to deliver a decision on Thursday about whether to press charges in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, more than a year after lead actor Alec Baldwin accidentally shot her.
Hutchins was killed by a live round fired by the gun the actor was holding on October 21, 2021, but the actor insists he didn’t pull the trigger and blames prop managers for not checking if the gun was loaded.
Baldwin is among up to four people who may face criminal charges for the death of the cinematographer, New Mexico District Attorney Carmack-Altwies has said.
The Santa Fe set, overseen by Baldwin’s production company, was subsequently shut down and an investigation was launched.
However, it was announced last fall that filming would resume in January with the same principal actors and director, but that it would not be in New Mexico. Matthew Hutchins, Halyna’s husband, will serve as executive producer.
Alec Baldwin is among up to four people who may face criminal charges for the shooting death of ‘Rust’ cinematographer Halyna Hutchins who was accidentally killed on the set
Halyna Hutchins, 42, was accidentally shot and killed by Baldwin on the set of the movie ‘Rust’
More than a year after the shooting, criminal charges have yet to be filed – though a judge recently ruled Hutchins’ family could move forward with a civil claim against Baldwin and El Dorado Pictures Inc, ruling that negligence from both parties led to the staffer’s death.
The local DA’s office had insisted the deal would not impact its criminal investigation into the death and added: ‘No one is above the law.’
In documents released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office were accounts of interviews with witnesses including text messages and emails from crew and cast members, sometimes detailing chaotic and acrimonious conditions on set prior to Hutchins’ death.
The documents still offer no conclusive answers on how live ammunition got onto the movie set and into a replica Colt .45-caliber revolver that was fired by Baldwin and killed Hutchins.
Baldwin was handed the gun during a rehearsal at a ranch outside Santa Fe. A live round hit her and movie director Joel Souza, who survived.
Baldwin has denied responsibility for Hutchins’ death and said live rounds should never have been allowed onto the set of the low-budget movie.
Baldwin and Hutchins on the set of Rust last year. He maintains he never pulled the trigger
A distraught Alec Baldwin lingers in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office in Santa Fe following the October 2021 killing
The anticipated announcement from Santa Fe’s First Judicial District Attorney’s Office is expected on Thursday and comes as part of the ongoing legal saga surrounding the death on set. Pictured: Bonanza Creek Ranch, where Baldwin shot Hutchins
Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on October 21, 2021 on the set of the movie
In police interviews and lawsuit filings, the film’s armorer, first assistant director, prop supplier and prop master all denied culpability for the shooting.
New Mexico’s worker safety agency in April fined the film’s production company the maximum amount possible for what it described as ‘willful’ safety lapses leading to Hutchins’ death.
An FBI report said five live bullets were found on a props trolley and in a bandolier and holster near the movie-set church where Hutchins was shot.
Among others who have been blamed for the shooting are armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who Baldwin claims didn’t check the gun properly, and assistant director Dave Halls, the last person to handle the revolver before Baldwin.
By the time Halyna was killed, many of the film’s crew had walked off set in protest over conditions and pay.
Baldwin, serving as a producer and starring actor in the movie, has since avoided criminal charges, even after being ruled partially responsible for the tragedy. The civil settlement does not affect Santa Fe’s current criminal investigation.
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