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Prosecutors have charged actor Alec Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in 2021 on the set of the film “Rust.”
New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced the charge during a press conference on Thursday morning, according to NBC News. Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who was the armorer on the film set where Hutchins was fatally shot, will be charged with involuntary manslaughter, as well.
New Mexico criminal law classifies involuntary manslaughter as a fourth degree-felony carrying a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.
First assistant director David Halls agreed to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon, according to Carmack-Altwies’ office.
Hutchins’ family released a statement through its attorney, Brian Panish, 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,” the statement said. “Our independent investigation also supports that 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.”
The charges come after the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office turned over a 500-page report on its investigation to prosecutors in October. The report contains redactions, but the investigation found that Baldwin fired a gun with live ammunition. The report also paints a chaotic picture of what happened the day of the shooting, as well as documents repeated problems with firearms on the set.
A report signed by the New Mexico chief medical investigator found Hutchins’ death to be an “accident,” according to CNN.
“Review of available law enforcement reports showed no compelling demonstration that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition on set. Based on all available information, including the absence of obvious intent to cause harm or death, the manner of death is best classified as accident,” the report said.
Baldwin has rejected culpability in Hutchins’ death. In December 2021, Baldwin told George Stephanopoulos in an interview on ABC News that “I didn’t pull the trigger” of the prop gun that fired and killed Hutchins. Baldwin further denied responsibility in Hutchins’ death.
“I feel that someone is responsible for what happened and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me,” Baldwin told the host. “I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible, and I don’t say that lightly.”