Alec Baldwin has been charged with involuntary manslaughter over the 2021 death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the movie set of Rust.
The actor is one of three cast and crew members charged over the accidental shooting, New Mexico’s first judicial district attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced today.
The first assistant director of Rust, David Halls, has agreed to plead guilty to the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. Meanwhile, the film’s armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed has also been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Under New Mexico law, involuntary manslaughter is a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. This charge also includes the misdemeanour charge of negligent use of a firearm.
The decision comes over 15 months after the incident occurred in October 2021 after a prop gun held by Baldwin discharged on set. A single bullet struck director Joel Souza in the shoulder before fatally striking Hutchins in the chest.
Baldwin has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the shooting. “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never,” he told ABC News in December 2021. The actor has continuously maintained that the gun was “cold,” meaning it had no live ammunition, and that as he cocked the gun, it went off without him pulling the trigger.