“each carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail”
Actor and producer Alec Baldwin has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the 2021 shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film Rust.
The film’s armorer was also charged.
FOX News reports:
Alec Baldwin hit with involuntary manslaughter in death of Halyna Hutchins, facing up to 18 months in prison
Alec Baldwin was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Halyna Hutchins.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was the armorer on the film “Rust,” was also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Alec Baldwin’s attorney called the charges a “terrible miscarriage of justice” in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice,” Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel said. “Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set. 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.”
Hutchins’ family thanked the sheriff’s office and the DA after the charges were announced.
“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,” said a statement issued on behalf of the Hutchins family via attorney Brian J. Panish, founding partner of Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi LLP.
Could Baldwin face jail time?
Mary Carmack-Altwies, the First Judicial District Attorney in Santa Fe, announced the charges in a statement on Thursday.
Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed each face two counts of involuntary manslaughter, which each carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail. They also will be charged with an enhancement for use of a firearm which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.
The prosecutor also announced that David Halls, the film’s first assistant director, has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of “negligent use of a deadly weapon.” Halls handed the loaded Colt .45 to Baldwin. Under the plea agreement, Halls will be given six months of probation but will not serve jail time.
“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,” said Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor appointed by Carmack-Altwies to oversee the case, in a statement. “It’s that simple. The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set. In New Mexico, there is no room for film sets that don’t take our state’s commitment to gun safety and public safety seriously.”
Judge Jeanine Pirro of FOX News spoke to the prosecutors on Thursday afternoon. Watch:
I sat down with the prosecutors handling the Baldwin "Rust" shooting case to discuss the latest. The interview, here: pic.twitter.com/Bkh8vjY7SY
— Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine) January 20, 2023
In December of 2021, Legal Insurrection’s Andrew Branca predicted a charge of involuntary manslaughter:
The only legally relevant facts to an analysis of whether Alec Baldwin appears to have committed felony involuntary manslaughter is whether he pointed a loaded gun at Ms. Hutchins, and that gun discharged and killed her without any intervening event between pointing and death that could relieve Alec Baldwin of legal responsibility.
Given that these facts are uncontested, even by Baldwin himself, and really appear incontestable under any circumstances, there can be little doubt that Alec Baldwin’s conduct in causing Ms. Hutchin’s death qualifies as felony involuntary manslaughter under New Mexico law.
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