"On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice." Those were the words of New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies as she announced charges against actor Alec Baldwin for his role in the 2021 shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie "Rust."
Carmack-Altwies said that Baldwin, along with the film's armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, were each charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter on Thursday for what took place at the Bonanza Creek Ranch film set in Santa Fe County.
A third party, "Rust" Assistant Director David Halls, negotiated a plea deal on a charge of "negligent use of a deadly weapon" and in turn received six months of probation and a suspended sentence.
"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 added in a statement Thursday.
Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor assigned to the "Rust" shooting case, explained 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."
As Variety reported at the time it was revealed that Baldwin was the one who discharged the real gun used as a prop on the "Rust" set:
Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on a set in New Mexico on Thursday, causing the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.
The incident occurred on the set of “Rust,” an independent feature that was filming at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a popular production location south of Santa Fe.
Hutchins, 42, was transported by helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where she died. Souza, 48, was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, where he is undergoing treatment for his injuries, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office.
The Sheriff’s office said in a statement that Hutchins and Souza “were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor.” The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Baldwin was questioned by investigators, and was in tears.
But there was still a lot that didn't add up in the immediate aftermath of the incident, as Vespa reported here in 2021.
Two people shot, one dead and one critical?— Marina Medvin 🇺🇸 (@MarinaMedvin) October 22, 2021
That doesn’t sound accidental, nor like the work of a “prop.”
There’s something off about this story. https://t.co/yVTt1WymXL
And, as Katie noted today after Baldwin was formally charged in the case, calling the shooting death of Hutchins an "accident" is just an excuse for "negligence."
Re: Alec Baldwin news.— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) January 19, 2023
Always remember: There is no such thing as an accident with a firearm, only negligence.
As Townhall reported in September, a final investigative report into the shooting was due out at the end of 2022. Then, DA Carmack-Altwies said she was "certainly looking at all the homicide statutes and any gun statutes under New Mexico criminal code," though the evidence in the case seen in the final report apparently better supported the multiple involuntary manslaughter charges.