On Thursday, the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office announced that it has completed its investigation into the fatal shooting on the set of “Rust” that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead. Criminal charges against those involved, including Alec Baldwin, may be imminent.
“Today, District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies received the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s investigative report on the Rust movie set incident,” said Heather Brewer, the spokesperson for Santa Fe’s top prosecutor. “The District Attorney and her team of investigators and prosecutors will now begin a thorough review of the information and evidence to make a thoughtful, timely decision about whether to bring charges.”
The prosecutor’s focus will be “on upholding the integrity of the process, enforcing the laws of the state of New Mexico, and pursuing justice,” Brewer said. She could not provide a timeline on when Carmack-Altwies will have her decision ready, but said there are no statutory deadlines in New Mexico that dictate how much time she has to press charges, beyond statutes of limitation.
Juan Rios, a spokesperson for the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office, said the file was forwarded to Carmack-Altwies on Thursday for “prosecutorial consideration,” but had no other immediate public statements.
The probe was nearly completed in August, but detectives were stalled in their investigation after Baldwin failed to turn over his phone records in a timely manner and then gave them to investigators on Long Island, adding further difficulty to the process.
On Aug. 11, the sheriff’s office said detectives from Suffolk County’s homicide and computer crimes units were “actively assisting” Santa Fe police and prosecutors in “obtaining, processing, and disclosing” Baldwin’s records.
“Those records are forthcoming,” the sheriff’s office said at the time.
Now, the records have been processed, and the investigation is completed. Carmack-Altwies will determine if any crew members will be charged in connection with the shooting. She has repeatedly said she needed a full investigative report from the sheriff’s office before she could determine whether or not to move ahead with charges.
Carmack-Altwies had previously signaled that she was prepared to charge up to four defendants, “possibly” including Baldwin, but was waiting for the final bits of evidence to come in from the sheriff’s office, according to a letter to New Mexico’s Board of Finance on Aug. 30.
On Oct. 21 last year, Baldwin was rehearsing a cross-draw with a Colt .45 revolver on the set of “Rust,” when the gun fired and struck Hutchins and director Joel Souza. Hutchins, a married mother of one, was pronounced dead soon after, while Souza survived.
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