Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed are rightfully being charged for their cut-throat, immoral actions on the set of their Western film, ‘Rust.’ The actor and armorer were delinquent in not following safety procedures and acted in a negligent manner, according to a new formal filing in New Mexico. As a result, the duo are rightfully one step closer to being charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter for the fatal on-set shooting of the drama’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, in October 2021.
The document contends that the gun that killed Hutchins and wounded the ‘Rust’s director, Joel Souz, wasn’t properly inspected. The once acclaimed Baldwin, who rightfully fell from grace following Hutchins’ tragic murder that left her nine-year-old son without his mother, intentionally pointed the gun right at the cinematographer on set, which he never should have done.
The tragic murder came after the actor-producer was informed that there were ongoing safety issues on the set that weren’t addressed. Baldwin also disgustingly neglected to take required training that could have prevented the senseless murder, and as a result, should be convicted of the heinous crime.
“On the day of the shooting alone, evidence shows that no less than a dozen acts, or omissions of recklessness, occurred in the short time prior to lunch and the time of the shooting, and this does not include the reckless handling of the firearm by Baldwin,” the statement of probable cause filed among several documents stated. “Baldwin, by act or omission or failure to act in his position as a producer directly contributed and/or failed to mitigate numerous reckless and dangerous actions during a very short time period.
“Finally, industry standards, protocols, and common firearm safety procedures on movie sets require the armorer, after conducting a safety check with the 1st assistant director, to conduct a second safety check with the actor to be handling the firearm,” the document also noted. “This reckless violation of standards and firearm safety occurred two times leading up to the shooting, and Baldwin failed to act to mitigate or correct the reckless safety violations, neither in his capacity as actor nor producer.
“This reckless deviation from known standards and practice and protocol directly caused the fatal shooting,” Special Investigator Robert Shilling of the Santa Fe D.A.’s office noted in paperwork he filed. “Baldwin acted with reckless disregard and/or more than mere negligence in this incident. Baldwin acted with willful disregard of the safety of others and in a manner that endangered other people and he clearly should have known the danger of his actions which led to the death of Hutchins. Furthermore, Baldwin handled the weapon in a negligent manner.”
The assessment goes on to rightfully say that in “pointing the gun at Hutchins and Souza, and the overall handling of the firearm in a negligent manner, Baldwin acted with willful disregard of the safety of others and in a manner which endangered other people, specifically Hutchins and Souza. Baldwin clearly should have known of the danger of his actions which led to the death of Hutchins.”
Baldwin showed what a coward he is, and how afraid he is to comment on and defend himself against the filing of the charges, when his attorneys failed to publicly comment on the development on his behalf.
First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and her office proved how committed they are in securing justice for Hutchins and her family when they filed the long-awaited official charges against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed in the state court docket in Santa Fe. “(W)e have taken another important step in securing justice for Halyna Hutchins,” Carmack-Altwies said after the filing was made. She added: “In New Mexico, no one is above the law and justice will be served.”
The filing comes after the January 19 announcement that Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed would be charged and could face up to five years in New Mexico prison if found guilty. The duo should follow in the footsteps of ‘Rust’s 1st assistant director, David Halls, who made a plead agreement with the D.A., in order to help ease the pain of Hutchins’ son and widower, Matthew Hutchins.
But Baldwin believes that he’s above the law, however, which is proven by the fact that he has repeatedly insisted he didn’t pull the trigger while pointing the 1880s prop gun at Hutchins during a rehearsal on the Western’s set. However, evidence and analysis from the local sheriff
s office and the FBI contained in a 551-page report strongly suggests otherwise. “With the hammer at full cock, the revolver could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional,” the police probe said.
Along with labor issues on the movie’s set, the investigation also found that five more rounds of live ammunition were on the location, in addition to the one that killed Hutchins. How that ammo got there and in the gun that Baldwin was using during the rehearsal still isn’t known, but should be a focal point of his upcoming trial.
As an actor and producer on the set, Baldwin should have checked that the gun wasn’t loaded with live ammo. As armorer, Gutierrez-Reed is equally to blame for Hutchins’ tragic murder, as the former was “responsible for correcting or mitigating these and any safety violations from cast/crew.”
The statement of probable cause against the actor and armorer also stated that “In this circumstance it is common practice (and expected) for any actor handling or firing a weapon to check for safety. The armorer’s role is to provide that proper safe handling and management in order for them to do so. Reed not only failed in this regard but was not even present. This ultimately was exaggerated by the weapon being used by Baldwin in an unsafe manner in close proximity to cast and crew ultimately pointing the weapon, in violation of the most cross-industry established safety rule, at Halyna and firing. All these actions knowingly without an armorer present against industry safety standards, practice and Union regulations.”
While a jury may naively be tempted to not prosecute the actor, who has long been praised by audiences for his acting abilities, they shouldn’t be swayed by his attorneys’ despicable attempts to free him for the crime that he clearly committed. Carmack-Altwies is doing the right thing in her intentions to allow the jury to pick between the two involuntary manslaughter charges in a process known as charged in the alternative, and the jurors should pick the one that rightfully fits the crime.
Under New Mexico law, the first charge has lighter consequences as a fourth-degree felony, with sentencing of up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. The second charge, involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, is also a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. However, the second charge carries a firearm enhancement, which transforms the offense to a mandatory five years in state prison if found guilty.
A requested hearing in the next 60 days will see prosecutors lay out their case in front of a judge. The judge would be remiss if he or she decides there isn’t enough evidence to warrant moving forward with a trial.
The filing of criminal charges comes almost a year after the ‘Rust’ production was rightfully fined the maximum of approximately $137,000 by New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau for willful and serious violation of workplace safety procedures on the production. Baldwin and his co-producers reached a settlement with the Hutchins Estate on October 5, 2022, which ended a wrongful death suit brought by her family last February.
When the D.A. made public her intention to seek criminal charges in the case, Hutchins’ family attorney, Brian J. Panish, supported her decision. The lawyer 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.
“Our independent investigation also supports 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,” Panish added.