Alec Baldwin is back in court after being killed on a Western film set by a gunman. After reaching an out-of-court settlement with the relatives of the dead camerawoman, the public prosecutor's office is now filing charges. against the movie star.
Hollywood star Alec Baldwin has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for shooting a camerawoman dead while filming a western. The prosecutor in the US state of New Mexico, Mary Carmack-Altwies, said the indictment was intended to ensure "justice" for the slain Halyna Hutchins. "In New Mexico, no one is above the law, and justice is done."
Carmack-Altwies had already announced almost two weeks ago that they wanted to bring charges against Baldwin, the leading actor and producer of the low-budget western "Rust". The charges have now been officially filed. Prosecutors say Baldwin faces up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted.
Baldwin accidentally shot and killed 42-year-old Hutchins with a Colt .45 on October 21, 2021 during filming rehearsals for Rust in New Mexico. Director Joel Souza was seriously injured by the shot. The revolver was apparently accidentally loaded with a real bullet by on-set gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. The fatal incident caused international outrage and debate about the use of real firearms on film sets.
In addition to Baldwin, Gutierrez-Reed will also face charges of involuntary manslaughter. Assistant director David Halls has pleaded guilty to negligent handling of a deadly weapon and faces a six-month suspended sentence. He had given the gun to Baldwin, saying it was "cold," meaning it was not loaded with live ammunition.
Known for films such as 'The Hunt for Red October' and 'The Temptation of Blondes' and the series '30 Rock', Baldwin has denied any responsibility for Hutchin's death. He claims he could not have known there was live ammunition in the Colt. His lawyer has criticized the charges as "a terrible miscarriage of justice".
Baldwin reached an out-of-court settlement with Hutchins' family in a civil lawsuit last October. Accordingly, "Rust" is to be shot to the end, with Hutchin's widower Matthew becoming the producer. However, the agreement does not protect Baldwin from criminal consequences.