Could Alec Baldwin go to jail in Rust shooting case? - Albuquerque Journal

Could Alec Baldwin go to jail in Rust shooting case?

In this image from video released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, Alec Baldwin gestures while talking with investigators following a fatal shooting last year on a movie set in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Law enforcement officials have released a trove of video and photographic evidence in the investigation of a fatal October shooting of a cinematographer by actor and producer Alec Baldwin on the set of a Western movie. Data files released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, April 25, 2022, included videos of investigators debriefing Baldwin on the day of the shooting inside a compact office. (Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Movie star Alec Baldwin and an armorer on the film set of the movie “Rust” could each face up to five years in jail if convicted of the most serious definition of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the on-set shooting that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead in 2021, according to the Santa Fe district attorney.

First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced criminal charges against Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed on Thursday, more than a year after the Oct. 21 shooting outside Santa Fe that killed Hutchins and left film director Joel Souza injured.

Carmack-Altwies said Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be “charged in the alternative” with the two counts of manslaughter, “meaning that a jury would decide not simply if they were guilty, but under which definition of involuntary manslaughter they were guilty.”

She said for an involuntary manslaughter charge to be proved, there must be underlying negligence.

Carmack-Altwies said the other possibility is a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, which “requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in a death.”

Both charges are fourth-degree felonies punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. But the latter, more serious version includes a firearm enhancement, Carmack-Altwies said, which makes the crime punishable by a mandatory five years in jail.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed have yet to be formally charged.

Carmack-Altwies said after the charges are filed, Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be issued a summons and required to make a “first appearance” in court, which can be done virtually and even waived. Carmack-Altwies said the next step will be a preliminary hearing where the case is presented to a judge, who will then rule whether there is probable cause to move forward with a trial.

Meanwhile, “Rust” assistant director, Dave Halls, has pleaded guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon and the terms include “a suspended sentence and six months of probation,” according to Carmack-Altwies.

 

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