Alec Baldwin’s attorney is speaking out after criminal charges were announced against the actor for his role in the 2021 death of Halyna Hutchins on the set of rust.
On Thursday, after New Mexico District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies charged Baldwin with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, Baldwin’s attorney issued a statement, calling the prosecutors’ decision a “miscarriage of justice.”
“This decision distorts the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins and constitutes a horrific miscarriage of justice. Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the film set,” said Luke Nikas, Baldwin’s attorney. “He relied on the professionals he worked with to reassure him that the gun had no live shots. We will fight these allegations and we will win.”
The statement came after a lengthy investigation by the New Mexico First Circuit Attorney’s Office, which announced the charges in the October 2021 shooting Thursday morning. Along with Baldwin, the film’s gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is charged with involuntary manslaughter, while first assistant director David Halls was hit with negligent use of a deadly weapon charge; Halls has already agreed to plead guilty to those charges.
“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 pursue criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the ‘Rust’ film crew,” prosecutor Carmack-Altwies said in a statement . “During my tenure, no one is above the law and everyone deserves justice.”
Carmack-Altwies also appeared on CNN and said that neither Baldwin nor Gutierrez-Reed “exercised due caution” on set. “An actor doesn’t get a free pass just because he’s an actor,” she added.
Armorer Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney also opposed the charges and defended her client, saying she “is acquitted of a wrongdoing by a jury.”
The indictment will be formally filed later this month, after which each defendant will receive a subpoena to appear at the first hearing; The district attorney’s office noted that the defendants could appear virtually at the hearing.
Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was wounded during a rehearsal on the set of rust on October 21, 2021. The incident occurred when Baldwin accidentally fired a prop cannon that had been loaded with a live cartridge. There have been numerous investigations into the incident by various government agencies, from the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office to the FBI.
Although these are the first criminal charges to be filed in connection with Hutchins’ death, the shooting has resulted in multiple civil lawsuits (as well as some fines). Most notably, the Hutchins family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin. rust Producer Ryan Donnell Smith, rookie gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, assistant director Dave Halls, props master Sarah Zachary and “armor mentor” Seth Kenney.