"Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting"

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Alec Baldwin will be criminally charged by New Mexico prosecutors for the 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film “Rust,” authorities said Thursday. Baldwin, the Emmy-winning star of “30 Rock” and dozens of films including “The Hunt for Red October,” shot the bullet that killed Hutchins. Baldwin said he “didn’t pull the trigger” in an ABC interview. An FBI forensic report obtained by ABC News uncovered that despite Baldwin’s denial, the gun could not have gone off without the pull of a trigger.

Baldwin and the movie’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, each will be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. One of the counts is for involuntary manslaughter, in which prosecutors will have to prove there is underlying negligence, prosecutors said. This is a fourth-degree felony that carries a sentence of up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. The second charge is involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, a more severe charge which requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in a death, prosecutors said. This charge includes a firearm enhancement, which adds a mandatory penalty of five years in jail.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be charged under a standard called “charged in the alternative.” If the case ends up going to trial, a jury will determine which of the two charges they’re guilty of. “Rust” assistant director David Halls signed a plea deal for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, resulting in a suspended sentence and six months of probation. “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,” Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor on the case, said in a statement Thursday. “The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set.”

According to documents obtained by the New York Post in September, the DA’s office had been waiting to review evidence from an FBI investigation since October 2021 after the accidental shooting took place. Once the office received the evidence, the DA announced that she intended to pursue charges and filed for $635,500 in emergency funding to hire a specialized team, including a new prosecutor, investigator, and spokesperson, to handle the case. The DA received about half of the requested funds.
https://www.cnbc.com/2023/01/19/alec-ba ... oting.html
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: "Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting"

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I haven’t been following this much because everyone is treating it as a liberals vs. conservatives issue, and I just don't give a crap about culture wars or tribalism. But I did catch what I think is the leading reason he is being charged, and likely will be convicted; he clearly lied. His saying he didn’t pull the trigger is what will hang him unless his counsel pulls their heads out of their asses…”I didn’t pull the trigger” is not going to work. Because he lied, and its EXTREMELY easy to disprove his lie, he now looks like a guilty man trying to cover something up, deflect blame, and not accept responsibility for his role in this tragedy. The man’s goose is cooked.

As for Giuterrez-Reed, I really don’t know what here defense is, but clearly Baldwin is pitching her under the bus completely. Still, I don’t think she has much of a defense as her ONE job is to make sure no live ammo finds its way into a gun.
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Re: "Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting"

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FrontSight wrote: Thu Jan 19, 2023 1:15 pm I haven’t been following this much because everyone is treating it as a liberals vs. conservatives issue, and I just don't give a crap about culture wars or tribalism. But I did catch what I think is the leading reason he is being charged, and likely will be convicted; he clearly lied. His saying he didn’t pull the trigger is what will hang him unless his counsel pulls their heads out of their asses…”I didn’t pull the trigger” is not going to work. Because he lied, and its EXTREMELY easy to disprove his lie, he now looks like a guilty man trying to cover something up, deflect blame, and not accept responsibility for his role in this tragedy. The man’s goose is cooked.

As for Giuterrez-Reed, I really don’t know what here defense is, but clearly Baldwin is pitching her under the bus completely. Still, I don’t think she has much of a defense as her ONE job is to make sure no live ammo finds its way into a gun.
Agree. I was struck also by a statement from her lawyers that she was not present at the location for the practice and that baldwin had refused instruction on guns. One may reduce her responsibility depending if she had not been informed of the rehearsal. If she was sidelined it won’t look good on baldwin. I’m sure there will be blame shifting regardless.
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Re: "Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting"

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I have four revolvers 3-SA/DA and 1-SA only, I'd guess DA pull is in area of 8-10#, cocked SA about <2# - still, won't fire unless trigger pulled and I'm not gonna try a loaded/unloaded drop test. The mistakes and errors in judgement in this case are just plain carelessness.
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Re: "Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting"

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Other actors – including “A-list” celebrities – consulted by prosecutors said they “always check their guns or have someone check it in front of them,” Carmack-Altwies [the District Attorney] told CNN shortly after announcing her intention to file involuntary manslaughter charges. “Every person that handles a gun has a duty to make sure that if they’re going to handle that gun, point it at someone and pull the trigger, that it is not going to fire a projectile and kill someone,” she said. She added, “An actor does not get a free pass just because they are an actor. That is what is so important. We are saying here in New Mexico, that everyone is equal under the law.” Live rounds were mixed in with dummy rounds on the set, and crews were not checking ammunition regularly, Carmack-Altwies said. “There was such a lack of safety and safety standards on that set… There were live rounds on set,” she added. “Nobody was checking those or at least they weren’t checking them consistently. And then they somehow got loaded into a gun handed off to Alec Baldwin. He didn’t check it. He didn’t do any of the things that he was supposed to do to make sure that he was safe or that anyone around him was safe. And then he pointed the gun at Halyna Hutchins and he pulled the trigger.” Carmack-Altwies described the production as “a really fast and loose set” when it came to safety and said “nobody was doing their job.”

The summary of the postmortem investigation into Hutchins’ death – which was formally signed by the New Mexico chief medical investigator – said “law enforcement reports showed no compelling demonstration that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition.” “Based on all available information, including the absence of obvious intent to cause harm or death, the manner of death is best classified as accident,” the report concluded. Carmack-Altwies said “just because it’s an accident doesn’t mean that it’s not criminal.”

“Our involuntary manslaughter statute covers unintentional killings,” she said. “Unintentional that means they didn’t mean to do it. They didn’t have the intent to kill. But it happened anyway, and it happened because of more than mere negligence… They didn’t exercise due caution or circumspection and that’s what happened here.” Carmack-Altwies said there is “more than enough” evidence to support the charges and bring the case to trial. An FBI forensics report said the weapon could not be fired during FBI testing of its normal functioning without pulling the trigger while the gun was cocked. The report also noted the gun eventually malfunctioned during testing after internal parts fractured, which caused the gun to go off in the cocked position without pulling the trigger. The prop gun was being held by Baldwin, who has maintained he did not pull the trigger. “The FBI lab is one of the best in the world,” Carmack-Altwies told CNN. “And we absolutely believe that the trigger had to have been pulled in order for that gun to go off.”

Baldwin was playing the lead role in “Rust” and was taking a producer credit on the film. “He was the actor that pulled the trigger so certainly he’s charged as an actor but also as a producer,” Carmack-Altwies said. “He also had a duty to make sure that the set was safe and we know from our investigation that there had been accidental misfires prior to this.” The prosecutor said investigators discovered “there were people complaining about safety on set.” Baldwin, she added, “should have been aware that safety was an issue … And then, as an actor that day, he should have checked that gun, checked those projectiles.” Carmack-Altwies said prosecutors might never know how live rounds made it onto the movie set. “And I do believe that’s a bit of a red herring,” she added. “The point is live rounds were there and they weren’t checked. They should have been caught.”
https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/19/us/santa ... index.html

And that is the prosecution case, Baldwin's legal team will argue against the state. Santa Fe is a wealthy area in NM and that could influence the jury composition.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: "Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting"

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Wino wrote: Thu Jan 19, 2023 6:13 pm I have four revolvers 3-SA/DA and 1-SA only, I'd guess DA pull is in area of 8-10#, cocked SA about <2# - still, won't fire unless trigger pulled and I'm not gonna try a loaded/unloaded drop test. The mistakes and errors in judgement in this case are just plain carelessness.
Agree. Not just carelessness, but extreme carelessness. Here in Los Angeles, the angle local news is covering is that there were not just safety complaints, but repeated and egregious safety complaints by multiple people, and this in an industry where complaining almost inevitably means retaliation. So even in a business where work conditions onsite are routinely out of control, this was beyond a train wreck. The whole crew had walked off the set that very morning.

In summer theater in the late '70s, we used real pistols on stage, a matched pair of .22s. The armorer had other responsibilities as well, but man, those pistols were secure: A matched pair of .22 revolvers. S&W, I think. They were beautiful, but no one could touch them.

And we did have an accident. The blanks we were using had wax wadding in them, something I had never even heard of (with starter's pistols, for example, which had no projectile whatsoever.) The shooting actor were always supposed to fire the weapon about 25 degrees away from the actor who was "hit." This was drilled into the actors in rehearsal; the two of them had separate rehearsals where that was all they worked on.

There was no one else in the scene, everyone stayed in the wings, it was never an issue until one night, when I think the actor who was "hit" was not where he was supposed to be. Just missed his mark by a few feet, and flung his hand to the left in an unusual way. He got hit in the hand with the wax wadding. Finished the scene, got bandaged backstage, took his curtain call, rushed to the ER, no big deal, very shallow flesh wound.

My point here: Yes, people get careless, accidents can happen. In our case, IMHO, there were at least two or three procedures that failed simultaneously.

But there were still enough layers of safety that it was only a minor accident. The Rust accident was really extreme.
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Re: "Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting"

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Don't understand how ammunition designed to be lethal being on the set
is a “red herring”. It's the singular element connecting all the
people/events involved. The failure to determined who brought it or
who loaded it doesn't dismiss it.

Want to know how the FBI did the testing. That they broke the gun
means either it was already damaged (supports Baldwin's version of
events) or they mishandled the thing, destroying evidence.

Still, Baldwin's account doesn't square. If his thumb was on the
hammer, it couldn't be wrapped around the grip frame, and upon firing
a full power round would come out of his hand. That's not part of his
testimony.

This continues with me because as a child, I had what could have been
a fatal “accident” with a parent's unsecured handgun with a faulty
safety.

My understanding is that Baldwin is rather anti-gun. Didn't stop him from making money with them.

Maybe this will get at least some people to think and do better.

Re: "Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting"

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Stiff wrote: Fri Jan 20, 2023 9:01 pm They also charged the assistant director of production, who took a plea deal. That guy had no direct contact with the gun, ...
That's not the story I am hearing. The Weapons Master wasn't on set. The 1st Assistant Director went to the weapons area and picked up the gun and returned to set for the rehearsal. He then declared the gun unloaded/safe and handed it to Baldwin. Which if so, he was more responsible than the actor. Baldwin's responsibility lies in his being an Executive Producer on the film which had several reports/concerns over safety. The 1st AD was smart enough to cop a plea.

Re: "Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting"

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I agree BK, early reports said the 1st AD handed the pistol to Baldwin and said it was "cold". Yes, the Santa Fe DA was too quick to cut him a deal. A few lawyers I've heard critiquing it said the DA over charged, I assume that Baldwin will come with a strong legal team and experts to dispute the prosecutor's case. Apparently the armorer also had other prop duties.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: "Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting"

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Also I had read from more than one source, after all this broke out on the news, members of the crew, while on breaks and at lunch, were taking the guns down to a creek area and plinking with them using live ammo.
If the is true then there was a lot more wrong on that set. Safety would have been NO Live Ammunition allowed anywhere near the set and all guns be securely locked up when not in use for the movie.
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Re: "Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting"

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As someone new to revolvers and to single action, it is useful to read the entire document. So many things went wrong so many times-- two negligent discharges?! Holy fuck, I've never witnessed a single one, even when I've gone shooting with folks who skipped a step or two! It is infuriating that Baldwin did not check the gun-- and that he was seen cocking the gun with his finger inside the trigger guard.

I get it that it is easy to do that. I started to do it myself on one occasion at the range my first day with the RR, but removed it before the second click, and paused for a few beats before continuing. I remember thinking, "Whoa, whoa, I mentally rehearsed that so many times, I've emptied the chamber about six times correctly, why did that just happen?!" (But of course this was at a range with the gun pointed in a safe direction.)

We still do not know where the live rounds on the set came from. It does not surprise me that the powder tests showed that the rounds that were fired did not match any ammo at the prop supply outfit. The ammo that killed Hayak came from somewhere else-- and I wonder where, and who supplied it.

It is very interesting to read about what the proper procedures are on the set. One thing about the RR that is weirding me out a bit is the possibility of accidentally putting an LR cartridge into a WMR cylinder-- the ammo boxes are very different sizes, shapes and colors, but I think I'm going to use separate compartments in my range bag as well.

I did make sure there was only WMR ammo on the shelf when I'm using the WMR cylinder, and only LR ammo on the shelf when I'm shooting the LR cylinder. But another thing I can do: make sure the LR ammo and cylinder will always be on the left when it leaves the bag, and make sure WMR always stays on the right. I get it that I would probably be able to tell if I put an LR cartridge into the WMR cylinder, but there's no reason not to add the extra step.
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Re: "Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting"

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Complacencyqround guns due to regular-exposure leads to deadly results. Look at all the police officers who shoot themselves in the leg when giving gun safety lectures to school kids.
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

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