Actor Alec Baldwin Charged Over “Reckless” Fatal Shooting On Movie Set

Actor Alec Baldwin Charged Over “Reckless” Fatal Shooting On Movie Set.

Actor Alec Baldwin Charged Over "Reckless" Fatal Shooting On Movie Set

Alec Baldwin, a Hollywood actor, and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the set armorer, were charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western movie “Rust” in New Mexico in 2021.

According to court documents, Baldwin’s “reckless” disregard for safety was a direct cause of Hutchins’ death. The most serious charge carries a potential sentence of five years in jail and would require prosecutors to prove that Baldwin acted with wilful disregard for the safety of others.

Baldwin has been charged as both an actor and a producer on the low-budget movie, and the prosecution’s special investigator, Robert Shilling, cited Baldwin’s failure to receive proper firearms training, check the revolver for live rounds, and address crew safety complaints as some of his many “extremely reckless acts or reckless failures to act”.

Baldwin has claimed that he was directed to point the gun at the camera by Hutchins and that he never pulled the trigger. He has also stated that live ammunition should never have been allowed on set, a position supported by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) union and many actors.

Gutierrez-Reed has been held responsible for “allowing live ammunition on the set” but has not been accused of physically introducing it into the production.

She stated that she brought dummy rounds onto the set and that it was her responsibility to provide sufficient firearms training and to check the rounds in the revolver. She has also claimed that she was denied requests for extra firearms training, including with Baldwin.

The prosecution has argued that Gutierrez-Reed failed to provide sufficient instruction to Baldwin, check the rounds in the revolver, and remain present during the rehearsal to ensure the weapon was not pointed at Hutchins.

The first assistant director of the movie, Dave Halls, has signed a plea deal for a misdemeanor charge and is expected to cooperate with the prosecution. No other producer on the movie has been charged.

The defendants face a court arraignment and a preliminary hearing, where a judge will determine whether there is probable cause to proceed with a trial.

Legal analysts predict that the prosecution could face long odds in convincing a jury that Baldwin is criminally liable, given that he was assured the gun was unloaded.

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