New Mexico District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said she would file criminal charges against actor Alec Baldwin for the Oct. 21 on-set shooting death of Halyna Hutchins, cinematographer for the film Rust. The movie star faces multiple charges, including involuntary manslaughter. Carmack-Altwies made the announcement on Thursday, saying, “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.” Baldwin faces at least six and a half years in prison if convicted on all charges.
What, Me Worry?
The DA’s office said formal charges would be filed by the end of the month when a court would set an arraignment and then a preliminary hearing date, typically within 60 days. Mr. Baldwin and other defendants might appear virtually at the arraignment, so it will be at least a few months before we know if he will need to fight the charges after initial court proceedings – and he might. Previously Mr. Baldwin has stated he does not check or otherwise inspect firearms he is given to use on set, saying he took prop guns from crew members he trusted and did not otherwise check the devices. His defense will be he outsourced the safety monitoring to another.
Is it acceptable for actors on a set to trust set armorers or other crew members with very dangerous props? Knowledge of handguns is fairly common in the US but what about equipment or devices very few people know how to safely operate? A battle tank in a war movie, for instance, or a wrecking ball scene at a construction site. Can actors simply follow directions, or must they learn how missiles work? Tom Cruise may be able to fly a jet plane, but we can safely assume most others who appear as fighter pilots in movies do not. Baldwin’s defense, if he chooses to present one in court, will be that he reasonably relied on experts to ensure that risk was mitigated to acceptable levels.
Additional Problem for Producer Baldwin
One wrinkle in such a defense is that Mr. Baldwin was not just hired help on the film, but he was also a producer. His knowledge of well-reported safety deficiencies on the set will work against him here. He is now joined as a producer by Matthew Hutchins, whose wife was the victim of Mr. Baldwin’s negligence. Producers in these titles might better be understood as owners of the project. Mr. Hutchins now has shared interests with Baldwin, and both are incentivized to get film production up and running as soon as possible.
Baldwin had been keeping a relatively low profile since the shooting. In an Instagram video posted on Jan 5, the Tony and Academy Award-nominated actor said, “I would like to ask you a small favor, and that is my wife is just, it seems like she’s just centimeters shy of a million followers on Instagram. I would like to ask you, as a birthday gift or even just a gesture to my wife, would you follow her on Instagram?” His wife, Hilaria, born Hillary, was made famous for constructing a fraudulent Spanish origin backstory to buoy her dreams of becoming a mommy lifestyle influencer. She and Alec share seven children.
Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor appointed by the DA to the Rust shooting case, said, “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.” Ms. Gutierrez-Reed was the armorer on the film and is expected to be charged alongside Mr. Baldwin. Assistant director David Halls entered a plea agreement for the negligent use of a deadly weapon. The terms include a suspended sentence and six months of probation.
Do you have an opinion about this article? We’d love to hear it! If you send your comments to [email protected], we might even publish your edited remarks in our new feature, LN Readers Speak Out. Remember to include the URL of the article along with your name, city, and state.
Please respect our republishing guidelines. Republication permission does not equal site endorsement. Click here.
Liberty Nation Today:
A Sneak Peek
The Hidden Messaging and Concocted Narratives in Biden’s SOTU - How many distortions can the ultimate career politician fit into one speech? - Read Now!
Former Twitter Execs Testify on Capitol Hill, Democrats Cry Foul - They didn’t want people to know – now they don’t want people knowing they didn’t. - Read Now!
Biden vs. McCarthy – Bringing Down the House – LN Radio Videocast - Deal or no deal? - Watch Now!
Joe Biden’s State of the Union Malarkey - Screaming at the sky about baggage fees? - Read Now!
Biden Bunch Boasting on Campaign Blitz - The president, vice president, and Cabinet members will crank out 30 events in two days. - Read Now!