The Santa Fe County district attorney announced Thursday that actor Alec Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died last year when a gun in his hand fired on the set of the film Rust.
Baldwin has maintained he did not pull the trigger of the weapon and that he was told he most likely wouldn’t be charged in the incident.
New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said Baldwin, an actor and producer on the film, and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the production’s armorer, will each be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Assistant director Dave Halls has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, and will serve a suspended sentence and six months of probation.
The charges will be filed by the end of the month.
In September, the New Mexico Board of Finance granted the DA’s office over $300,000 to be used to potentially prosecute up to four people related to Hutchins’ death, and the request for the funds stated “one of the possible defendants is well known movie actor Alec Baldwin.”
Much of the investigation has focused on Baldwin, an actor and producer of the film who was holding the gun when it fired—though he has claimed he did not pull the trigger—as well as assistant director Dave Halls, who is said to have told Baldwin the gun was safe to use, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the production’s armorer, and ammunition supplier Seth Kenney.
Hutchins was killed on set on October 21, 2021, during a rehearsal. Live bullets were not supposed to be present anywhere on set, and the guns in the movie were supposed to be filled with empty shells or dummy rounds. But when the gun in Baldwin’s hand fired, Hutchins was shot in the chest and director Joel Souza was shot and injured in his shoulder.
Production immediately shut down while authorities investigated. It’s not clear how live ammunition made it onto the set. Baldwin has said he was told by people “within the state” it’s “highly unlikely” he would be charged.
Crew members have said there were gun safety issues on set, and there had been two previous misfires, according to investigation records released by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s department. DNA was collected from Baldwin, Halls, Gutierrez-Reed and Kenney.
Interviews with staff members showed some had questioned Gutierrez-Reed’s experience, Baldwin’s willingness to participate in trainings and Halls’ indifference to safety, per the investigation records that were released.
Matthew Hutchins, the husband of Halyna, sued Baldwin, Halls and Gutierrez-Reed and others for wrongful death, and the suit was settled in October for an undisclosed amount. Production on Rust is set to resume some time this year, and Matthew Hutchins will serve as an executive producer on the project.
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department completed its investigation in October, over one year after the shooting occurred, and handed the case over to the DA.