Alec Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film "Rust." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A New Mexico prosecutor Thursday announced criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film Rust.
New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and Special Prosecutor Andrea Reeb announced Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.
The charges will be formally filed before the end of the month.
"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," Carmack-Altwies said in a statement. "On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice."
No charges were filed in the shooting of Joel Souza, who was injured in the incident.
Hutchins was killed while working on the Baldwin-helmed western on Oct. 21, 2021, when a prop gun held by the famed actor fired.
"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," Reeb, the special prosecutor appointed by the D.A., said in a statement. "The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the Rust film set. 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."
According to Carmack-Altwies, the involuntary manslaughter charge is a fourth-degree felony with a penalty of 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. Underlying negligence must be proved to convict on that charge.
The second charge Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed face is involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act. It requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved. It is also punishable by 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Carmack-Altwies said in her statement that assistant director David Halls signed a plea agreement for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. The terms include a suspended sentence and six months of probation.
On the one-year anniversary of the shooting in October, Baldwin announced that he and his film had reached a settlement with the Hutchins' family to settle a wrongful death lawsuit.
In the agreement, her husband, Matthew Hutchins, will become executive producer of Rust.
In November, Baldwin also filed a lawsuit against members of the film crew, accusing them of negligence.