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Tipsheet

Santa Fe DA Drops Firearm Enhancement Charge Against Alec Baldwin in ‘Rust’ Shooting

AP Photo/John Minchillo

The Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office announced Monday that it is dropping a gun enhancement charge against actor Alec Baldwin following the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust” in 2021.

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According to ABC News, Baldwin still faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter, which would carry a sentence of 18 months if convicted. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armorer, faces the same involuntary manslaughter charge. Baldwin’s gun enhancement charge would have carried a five-year sentence if convicted.

"In order to avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys, the District Attorney and the special prosecutor have removed the firearm enhancement to the involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the 'Rust' film set," Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a statement. "The prosecution's priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys."

“Rust,” an American western film, was filmed at Bonanza Creek Ranch, which is a designated filming location for movies, commercials, music videos, etc. When the shooting occurred, Variety reported that Baldwin discharged a gun that killed Hutchins and injured the film’s director, Joel Souza.

Last month, Baldwin was hit with criminal charges for his role in the shooting, which Spencer covered.

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"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," the DA said in a statement in January.

Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor assigned to the shooting, said that "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," Reeb added. "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."

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