Back in 2021 Hollywood was shaken by the news that Alec Baldwin had accidentally shot and killed Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film Rust.
Last week, several outlets reported that prosecutors were planning to charge Baldwin in connection with Hutchins’ death.
On Tuesday afternoon, those reports were confirmed, as the Santa Fe County, New Mexico, district attorney’s filed involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin.
The news was reported moments ago by CNN, who received a statement direct from the DA’s office.
“Today we have taken another important step in securing justice for Halyna Hutchins,” said District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.
“In New Mexico, no one is above the law and justice will be served.”
Carmack-Altwies revealed that Baldwin is not the only person who was charged in connection with the shooting.
“Negligent use of a deadly weapon charges were also filed against ‘Rust’ assistant director David Halls, who has pleaded no contest and has entered into a plea agreement that is pending approval,” said the district attorney.
It’s unclear if Baldwin was offered a similar plea deal, but it seems unlikely that he’ll accept any offer that would require him to admit guilt.
Baldwin has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in Hutchins’ death, pointing out that he was unaware that the gun was loaded, and suggesting that the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed was responsible.
Prosecutors allege that Baldwin was reckless on set and did not take his weapons training seriously.
“A training session for at least an hour or more in length was scheduled, but the actual training consisted of only approximately 30 minutes as according to Reed, Baldwin was distracted and talking on his cell phone to his family during the training,” said the DA’s office today.
“Gutierrez Reed was reckless in her responsibility to ensure set safety with the firearm,” prosecutors continued.
“She failed to correct Baldwin from committing the dangerous and reckless safety violations by pointing the weapon at/towards people and by having his finger on the trigger.
Gutierrez Reed has also been charged in connection with Hutchins’ death.
The DA further alleged that photos from the set prove that Baldwin failed to protect himself and those around him by complying with proper trigger safety practices.
“The photos and videos clearly show Baldwin, multiple times, with his finger inside of the trigger guard and on the trigger, while manipulating the hammer and while drawing, pointing, and holstering the revolver,” prosecutors said.
In a statement issued on January 19, Baldwin’s lawyer called the prosecutors’ decision “a terrible miscarriage of justice.”
“This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice. Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set,” attorney Luke Nikas said in his statement.
“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.”
Baldwin has not yet commented publicly on today’s developments.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as new information becomes available.