RTM previously reported that more than a year after the tragic shooting and death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, prosecutors have announced that several involved in the case will face criminal charges.
On Thursday morning, New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced she had charged Alec Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter. The actor was holding a colt revolver while rehearsing a scene for the film “Rust” when the weapon discharged, fatally wounding Hutchins, a friend of Baldwin.
Baldwin has claimed he did not know the pistol was loaded with live ammunition.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who worked as the armorer on the “Rust” set, is also charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Attorneys representing Baldwin criticized the prosecutor, repeating their previous assertions that the death of Hutchins was a tragic accident and that Baldwin had no way of knowing (nor should he have suspected) that the gun was loaded.
Luke Nikas, an attorney representing Baldwin, said: “This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice.”
Nikas continued: “Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set,” the statement added. “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.”
Notably, an investigation by the New Mexico chief medical investigator found Hutchins’ death to be an “accident,” according to CNN.
“Review of available law enforcement reports showed no compelling demonstration that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition on set. Based on all available information, including the absence of obvious intent to cause harm or death, the manner of death is best classified as an accident,” the chief medical investigator said.
The Daily Wire noted that in New Mexico, “involuntary manslaughter is a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison.”
The Wire report adds that “because a firearm was involved, the punishment for a conviction could be bumped to a mandatory five years in jail.”
The Hutchins’ family also released a statement following today’s announcement by the prosecutor. On behalf of the Hutchins family, attorney Brian Panish said:
“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.”
Panish added: “Our independent investigation also supports that charges are warranted. It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law. 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.”
In December 2021, Baldwin told George Stephanopoulos in an interview on ABC: “I feel that someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me. I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible, and I don’t say that lightly.”
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