Alec Baldwin charged with involuntary manslaughter in Rust shootingon January 31, 2023 at 11:31 pm

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Prosecutors accuse the actor of many “extremely reckless acts” as he is charged with an on-set death.

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Alec Baldwin has been formally charged with involuntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on a movie set in October 2021.

Halyna Hutchins died during the filming of the Western film Rust near Santa Fe, New Mexico, after Mr Baldwin allegedly fired a prop gun during rehearsal.

The film’s armourer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was also formally charged on Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter.

Their lawyers have said they intend to fight the charges in court.

Prosecutors in New Mexico have said they have enough evidence to charge both Mr Baldwin and Ms Gutierrez-Reed for the death of Ms Hutchins.

The charges were first announced on 19 January, and were officially filed by Tuesday’s deadline.

“On my watch, no-one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice,” Santa Fe’s District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said when the charges were unveiled.

If found guilty, Mr Baldwin and Ms Gutierrez-Reed could face up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 (£4,050) fine. They will be tried by a jury, according to prosecutors.

Ms Hutchins died in hospital after she was shot in the chest by a prop gun allegedly fired by Mr Baldwin at Bonanza Creek Ranch.

Mr Baldwin has previously denied responsibility for the shooting, saying the gun had misfired and that he was not aware it was loaded.

The 30 Rock actor also filed a lawsuit against Ms Gutierrez-Reed and other people involved with the film, alleging they failed to check the gun carefully.

Ms Gutierrez-Reed has said she had checked that the rounds she loaded in the prop gun were dummies before it was handed to the film’s assistant director Dave Halls, who then handed it to Mr Baldwin and told him it was an unloaded gun.

Ms Gutierrez-Reed also told New Mexico’s workplace safety agency after the shooting that the incident could have been prevented had she had more time to train Mr Baldwin to handle the prop gun.

An initial investigation into the incident found there was “a degree of neglect”, and producers were fined more than $136,000 by the New Mexico Environment Department for failing to enforce safety protocols.

Mr Halls has entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanour charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, prosecutors said. He will spend six months serving probation.

When the charges were first announced, a lawyer representing Ms Hutchins’ husband, Matthew, said the cinematographer’s family supported the charges. “It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no-one is above the law,” he said.

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