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Jan 31 (Reuters) – Actor Alec Baldwin and set gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were charged on Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of western film ‘Rust’ in 2021, as reported from court documents.
District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies filed charges after months of speculation about whether she had evidence that Baldwin was criminally disregarding safety, when a revolver he was rehearsing with fired a live round that killed Hutchins.
A probable cause statement accompanying the indictment credits Baldwin as both an actor and producer of the film, saying, “On the day of shooting alone, evidence shows that no fewer than a dozen reckless acts or omissions took place in a short amount of time before lunch and the time of the shooting, and this does not include Baldwin’s reckless handling of the firearm.
The ’30 Rock’ actor has denied responsibility for the shooting, saying he cocked the revolver but never pulled the trigger and it was the job of Gutierrez-Reed and other gunsmiths to make sure he was discharged.
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Gutierrez-Reed said she checked that the cartridges she loaded into the gun were dummies before handing them to first assistant director Dave Halls. Halls handed it to Baldwin and told him it was a “cold weapon,” meaning it contained no explosive charge, according to police.
Halls has signed a pleading to a misdemeanor charge and is expected to cooperate with prosecutors.
On December 13, Halls testified to the New Mexico Occupational Safety Bureau that Gutierrez-Reed turned the gun over to Baldwin and that he never declared the Pietta replica Colt .45 a “cold gun.”
Industry-wide firearm safety guidelines instruct stakeholders to assume that a firearm is blank loaded. Live ammunition is strictly prohibited on sets.
Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico; Edited by Jonathan Oatis and Rosalba O’Brien
Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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