Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Why the Santa Fe Prosecutor’s Office Decided to Charge Alec Baldwin with “Involuntary Manslaughter” for Shooting “Rust”

(CNN) — Actor Alec Baldwin faces two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting that killed cinematographer Halina Hutchins during the filming of the movie “Rust,” as well as the stuntman who supervised all the weapons used in the production.

Baldwin, who has said he did not know the gun he fired contained live ammunition, called the New Mexico prosecutor’s decision a “terrible judicial error”, according to his attorney, Luke Nicks, who disputed the charges. vowed to do.

Jason Bowles, the attorney for the film’s gunman, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, said a jury would find his client not guilty because “she committed no crime.”

Hutchins was wounded and killed in 2021 by a live bullet fired from a prop gun held by Baldwin, who says he did not pull the trigger on the gun. Director Joel Souza was also injured.

According to prosecutors, no charges will be filed against Souza.

Hutchins’ cause of death is listed as “gunshot wound to the chest” and the manner of death as “accident”.

On behalf of the Hutchins family, attorney Brian J. “It is a relief to the family that no one is above the law in New Mexico,” Panish said in a statement.

Here are the reasons New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altweiss gave to filing charges against Baldwin, who spoke to CNN on Thursday:

“An actor does not have carte blanche”

Other actors, including high-profile celebrities, who were questioned by prosecutors said they “always check their guns or have someone check them in front of them,” Carmack-Altweiss announced his decision on murder charges. told CNN shortly after doing it. involuntary.

“Everybody who handles a weapon has a duty that if they’re going to handle that weapon, point it at someone and pull the trigger, they’re not going to fire a round and kill someone,” he said. Told.

And he added: “An actor doesn’t have carte blanche for the simple fact of being an actor. That’s the important thing. Here in New Mexico we say we’re all equal before the law.”

“There was a huge lack of security on the set”

According to Carmack-Altwies, real cartridges were mixed with test cartridges at the shoot, and ammunition was not regularly checked by staff.

He added, “There was such a lack of safety and security standards on the set… There was ammunition on the set.”

“Nobody checked them, or at least they didn’t check them consistently. And then somehow they got loaded into a gun that was given to Alec Baldwin. They didn’t check it. They didn’t do anything like What they should have done was “to make sure that she was safe or that anyone around her was safe. And then he pointed at Halina Hutchins and pulled the trigger.”

Carmack-Altwiss described the production as “a bunch of people who are really light-hearted” when it comes to security, adding that “no one was doing their job.”

“Accident doesn’t mean he’s not a criminal”

The postmortem inquest summary of Hutchins’ death, formally signed by New Mexico’s chief medical investigator, stated that “law enforcement reports have shown no convincing evidence that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition”.

“Based on all available information, including the absence of apparent intent to harm or cause death, the manner of death has been classified as an accident,” the report concluded.

Alec Baldwin

Carmack-Altwies said that “just because it’s an accident doesn’t mean it’s not criminal.”

“Our slaughter law covers culpable homicide,” he said.

“Unintentional means they didn’t mean to do it. They didn’t mean to kill. But it happened anyway, and it happened because of more than just negligence… They didn’t exercise reasonable care or discretion and that’s what happened here.” “

Carmack-Altwies said there was “more than enough” evidence to support the allegations and bring the case to trial.

“had to pull the trigger”

An FBI forensic report noted that during the FBI’s tests of normal operation the gun did not fire without the trigger being pulled.

The report also noted that the gun ultimately failed during testing after fracturing internal parts that caused the gun to fire in the cocked position without pulling the trigger.

The prop gun was in the hands of Baldwin, who has said that he did not pull the trigger.
“The FBI lab is one of the best in the world,” Carmack-Altweiss told CNN. “And we absolutely believe that the trigger should have been pulled for that gun to fire.”

— Josh Campbell contributed reporting.

Nation World News Desk
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