In a shocking turn of events, actor and producer Alec Baldwin, and armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, have been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cameraman Halyna Hutchins. The incident occurred on the set of the western film "Rust" at a ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico in October 2021.
A Fatal Accident on Set
Baldwin was rehearsing a scene when the shooting occurred, causing the untimely death of Hutchins. Santa Fe's District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced the charges on Thursday, stating that they would be filed by the end of the month.
"Actor and producer Alec Baldwin and armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed will each be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter," the statement read. "I have determined that there is sufficient evidence." "On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice," she said.
Legal Battle Ahead
However, both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed have stated their innocence and plan to fight the charges. Baldwin's lawyer, Luke Nikas, called the decision "a terrible miscarriage of justice", while Gutierrez-Reed's lawyer, Todd Bullion, stated that the announcement was the result of a "very flawed investigation and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts".
"Hannah is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident," Bullion said. "But she did not commit involuntary manslaughter." "Mr Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun - or anywhere on the movie set," Nikas said.
"He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win." The incident came after the cinematographer's husband filed a wrongful death lawsuit that alleged violations of industry standards. "All of us believe Halyna's death was a terrible accident," Mr Hutchins said in a statement at the time. "I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame."