On Tuesday, Alec Baldwin was officially charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust,” officials announced two weeks after it was first reported that charges were “imminent.”
New Mexico prosecutors also filed a damning document, which claimed that Baldwin had not been properly trained with firearms ahead of the movie and that he had pulled the trigger of the gun and even told officers shortly after the shooting that he had fired the weapon.
The Santa Fe County district attorney called his actions during the fatal shooting a “reckless deviation from known standards and practice.”
The “30 Rock” actor, 64, and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 25, the movie’s armorer, were both hit with two felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, according to the complaint.
Hutchins, a 42-year-old mother of one, was fatally shot on Oct. 21, 2021, when Baldwin fired a prop gun, which contained a live round. The accidental discharge also injured Director Joel Souza.
The Statement of Probable Cause against Baldwin made the point of separating its findings into two sections. One section focused on Baldwin’s role as the lead actor in the film, while the other focused on his role as the film’s primary producer.
The charging document states Baldwin was not present for firearms training prior to the start of filming on the movie and states that when Gutierrez-Reed eventually did book a training session, it was set to go for at least an hour and only ran for about 30 minutes.
Prosecutors added that, “According to Reed, Baldwin was distracted and talking on his cell phone to his family during the training.”
Furthermore, they add that their evidence disputes multiple claims that Baldwin would later make surrounding the incident. They dispute his claim that he never pulled the trigger on the gun, noting that “photos and videos clearly show Baldwin, multiple times, with his finger inside the trigger guard and on the trigger.”
They add: “Baldwin approached responding deputies on the day of the shooting, wanting to talk to them because he was the one who ‘fired’ the gun.”
The probable cause statement said the shooting happened during an unscheduled rehearsal, which did not require the weapon to be fired. Prosecutors also consulted expert armorers who said that a plastic or replica gun should have been used in that setting.
The statement against Baldwin referred to the FBI’s previous analysis of the firearm, which “clearly showed that the weapon could not ‘accidentally fire,’” as the actor has previously claimed on many occasions.
The document also said Baldwin failed to demand “at least two (2) safety checks between the armorer and himself” prior to the shooting.
“If Baldwin had not pointed the gun at Hutchins and Souza, this tragedy would not have occurred,” the document noted. “This reckless deviation from known standards and practice and protocol directly caused the fatal shooting.”
Both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are charged “in the alternative,” meaning that a jury can only convict them of one of the two counts they face. The first count comes with a maximum sentence of 18 months behind bars, while the second carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison.
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed, who is a novice armorer, maintained their innocence, while assistant director David Halls agreed to take a misdemeanor plea deal for handing the loaded gun to Baldwin.
“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,” special prosecutor Andrea Reeb said earlier this month when the charges to come were first announced.
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