Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will each be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter for the 2021 fatal shooting on the New Mexico set of the film “Rust,” officials said Thursday.
Santa Fe First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb announced their decision Thursday morning in a written statement shared with media.
First assistant director David Halls has already agreed to no contest for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon.
“After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, 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 said in a statement. “On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”
In a statement, Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, wrote, “This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice. 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.”
Carmack-Altwies’ office said in October she would conduct a “thorough review of the information and evidence to make a thoughtful, timely decision about whether to bring charges” following a yearlong sheriff’s investigation into the on-set shooting.
Halyna Hutchins, 42, was working as a cinematographer on the Western when she was shot and killed by the film’s star, Baldwin, during an accident while he was practicing using a Colt .45 revolver on set. Director Joel Souza was also injured in the shooting.
Hutchins’ family said they support the charges and found them warranted “for the killing of Halyna Hutchins with conscious disregard for human life.”
“Our independent investigation also supports that charges are warranted,” attorney Brian Panish said in a statement on behalf of the family. “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.”
In an interview with ABC News, Lisa Torraco, attorney for Halls, said he signed his plea agreement Wednesday.
“Mr. Halls and I are disappointed that she decided to bring a charge at all,” she said. “We believe that criminally he should have been completely exonerated. But we are happy with the resolution that she did propose, and that is the petty misdemeanor negligent use of a weapon.”
She continued, “When confronted with a potential felony, hearing up to 6 1/2 years in prison, or confronted with a petty misdemeanor, which was six months unsupervised probation, sometimes it gets to be the weighing of which choice is better, which of the lesser evils.”
No charges will be filed in the shooting of Souza, the district attorney’s office said.
Carmack-Altwies and Reeb will formally file charges before the end of the month, at which point each defendant will be issued a summons for their first court appearance, which can be done virtually or waived, prosecutors said. During a preliminary hearing, a judge will decide whether there is probable cause to move forward with a trial. Preliminary hearings are typically scheduled within 60 days of charges being filed, according to the district attorney’s office.