Alec Baldwin To Be Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter
In 2021, in what at least appeared to be a tragic accident, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of a movie that was filming outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. The movie, titled “Rust,” stared actor Alec Baldwin, and he was the one holding the gun that ultimately killed Hutchins, although, he has claimed that he never pulled the gun’s trigger.
The gun was a functioning gun, but according to Baldwin, he was told it was “cold,” meaning that it was not loaded with any sort of ammunition. Even still, after a lengthy investigation by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Fe First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb have announced that they will be charging both Baldwin and the on-set armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, with involuntary manslaughter. If found guilty by a jury, they could face 18 months in prison and a $5000 fine; however, if the jury decides that there was more to it than gun negligence, they would face up to 5 years in prison.
In a statement, Carmack-Altwies explained, “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.” She added, “On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”
The actors union SAG-AFTRA is standing up for Baldwin. According to the union, “An actor’s job is not to be a firearms or weapons expert.”
Luke Nikas, Baldwin’s attorney, claims, “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.” In addition, according to Nikas, the charges are a “terrible miscarriage of justice.”
Meanwhile, Hutchins’ family had a positive reaction to the charges. In a statement on behalf of the family, attorney Brian Panish explained, “Our independent investigation also supports that charges are warranted.” He added, “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.”
Does it surprise you that Baldwin is facing involuntary manslaughter charges? Do you think he will be found guilty?