And here we are in 2023, and Baldwin and Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed have both been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to Vanity Fair.
Hutchins died after Baldwin fired a live round of ammunition inside the prop gun, hitting Hutchins in the chest, passing through, and hitting writer-director Joel Souza in the shoulder.
The movie’s assistant director, Dave Halls, handed Baldwin the weapon and announced to the crew that it was a “cold gun.” Halls signed a plea bargain with the District Attorney for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, and accepted a suspended sentence and six months of probation.
The DA appointed prosecutor Andrea Reeb to the case.
Reeb said in a statement:
“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.
The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set. In New Mexico, there is no room for film sets that don’t take our state’s commitment to gun safety and public safety seriously.”
No charges will be filed for the injuries Souza suffered, and DA spokesperson Heather Brewer said that there is no statute in New Mexico for unintentional battery, unless the shooting leads to death.
Baldwin previously stated that he trusted the crew to hand him the correct, safe equipment, and Gutierrez Reed’s lawyer said that she was working under “distracting” and “stressful” conditions while getting the gun ready.
Investigators found five live rounds of ammunition mixed in with the movie’s props and costumes. Two loose .45 bullets were found on top of a prop cart, a third was found in a bandolier worn by actor Jensen Ackles, and a fourth was in a gun belt worn by Baldwin, and a fifth was discovered in a box of dummy ammunition with Gutierrez Reed’s finger prints on it.
The district attorney explained the two charges of involuntary manslaughter:
“The first charge can be referred to simply as involuntary manslaughter. For this charge to be proved there must be underlying negligence. Under New Mexico law, involuntary manslaughter is a fourth-degree felony and is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. This charge also includes the misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a firearm, which would likely merge as a matter of law.
The other charge is involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act. This charge requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in a death. This is also a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. This charge includes a firearm enhancement, or added mandatory penalty because a firearm was involved. The firearm enhancement makes the crime punishable by a mandatory five years in jail.
There is a very clear process for pursuing justice in this case. We are committed to upholding the integrity of that process to ensure equal justice under the law.”