Charges Brought Against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed for Death of Halyna Hutchins

Fifteen months have passed since cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on the movie set of “Rust” in New Mexico on October 2021. Actor Alex Baldwin held the revolver that allegedly fired the shot that killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, age 49. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was the “armorer” on the movie set. She had the responsibility of ensuring firearms safety by examining and handling ammunition and weapons.

New Mexico prosecutors will charge Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed with two federal counts of involuntary manslaughter over the death of Hutchins. Evidently, “a real bullet was loaded into a prop gun.” As reported, “assistant director David Halls, who handed Baldwin the loaded gun, accepted a misdemeanor charge in a plea deal.”

Special prosecutor Andrea Reeb stated: “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.”

Addressing a technical legal matter, the article points out that “Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will both be charged “in the alternative,” meaning the jury will decide which of the two charges — involuntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act — they are or are not guilty of. Both felony charges hold a maximum prison sentence of 18 months and a fine of up to $5,000.”

A “thorough review of the evidence and the laws” evidently occurred during the considerable elapsed time since the event. As reported, “District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, who will hand down the charges, said “I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the ‘Rust’ film crew.” Carmack-Altwies elaborated: “On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”

The article asserts that the long-awaited decision to charge Baldwin, a successful actor and, among other credits, the “30 Rock” star, and the two other defendants came after “a meticulous investigation revealed they all bore partial responsibility for the shooting that killed  Hutchins, a 42-year-old mother, and injured director Joel Souza, 49.

During the initial investigation, detectives from the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office said they found a mixture of dummy and live rounds scattered throughout the set, which, as reported, “is a violation of industry safety standards.” At the time, Carmack-Altwies said determining how the live rounds got to the set “will be one of the most important factors going into a charging decision.”

At the time of the shooting, it was reported, “Baldwin was sitting on a pew in a mock church at the Bonanza Creek Ranch rehearsing a cross-draw as Hutchins and Souza stood behind the camera.”

Further elaborating, the report states that “As he (Baldwin) rehearsed, he pulled out the gun, pointed it directly at the camera and it fired a single bullet that struck both Hutchins and Souza. Baldwin “has repeatedly denied pulling the trigger, saying the gun went off accidentally.” However, “an FBI forensic report released in August concluded the firearm couldn’t have gone off unless someone released the trigger.”

As reported, “Souza told police he recalled hearing the phrase “cold gun” while preparing for the scene, indicating the firearm wasn’t loaded and was safe for use, but he couldn’t remember if the gun had been checked before it was handed to Baldwin.”

Baldwin’s lawyer Luke Nikas’ (sic) saw things differently. As reported, Nikas’ “slammed the charges Thursday, saying the actor was in no way responsible for the tragic accident.” Nikas exclaimed: “This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice.” Nikas’ further told The Post: “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.”

Jason Bowles, the lawyer for Gutierrez-Reed, insisted Thursday that his client “did not commit involuntary manslaughter.” Bowles asserted the investigation was “flawed” and further exclaimed when he “brings the full truth to light,´ Hannah “will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury.”

As reported, “Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer in charge of ammo and weapons on set, has repeatedly denied responsibility for the shooting. In January 2022, she filed suit against the props company that supplied the rounds, alleging it sold blanks and lives mixed together.”

D & B Staff

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