Alec Baldwin indicted on involuntary manslaughter charge in ‘Rust’ case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – After a long legal battle he thought may have been over, the Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office announced new charges against Alec Baldwin.

A grand jury on Friday indicted Baldwin on an involuntary manslaughter charge. The district attorney filed the same charge last year, then dropped it just months later.

A gun fired on the “Rust” movie set near Santa Fe, killing cinematographer Haylna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza in October 2021.

Alec Baldwin, the actor of and executive producer of “Rust,” held the gun. He was rehearsing a scene when the gun went off.

Baldwin repeatedly claimed he did not pull the trigger. After the DA dropped the charges against him last year, prosecutors had additional testing done on the gun.

The FBI and a state agency conducted tests on the gun. Officials then determined the gun could not be fired without the trigger being pulled.

The new one-page indictment alleges Baldwin caused Hutchins’ death — either by negligence or “total disregard or indifference” for safety.

KOB 4 reached out to Baldwin’s attorneys, who in a statement just said, “We look forward to our day in court.”

Hutchins’ husband Matthew Hutchins filed a wrongful death lawsuit. He later settled the lawsuit with a stipulation that he become executive producer of the movie.

Last year, production of “Rust” moved to Montana where it resumed.

Baldwin isn’t the only person facing charges for the shooting. Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence.

A trial for Gutierrez-Reed is set to start on February 21. Baldwin will appear in court for his arraignment February 1.

Assistant director David Halls pleaded no contest to a petty misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon last year. He served six months on probation following that plea.

SAG-AFTRA statement

“To the extent that the charges filed on January 19 are based on an accusation of negligent use of a firearm predicated on this or any actor having a duty to inspect a firearm as part of its use, that is an incorrect assessment of the actual duties of an actor on set.

An actor’s job is not to be a firearms or weapons expert. Firearms are provided for use on set under the guidance of multiple expert professionals directly responsible for the safe and accurate operation of that firearm.

The Industry Standards for safety with firearms and use of blank ammunition are clearly laid out in Safety Bulletin 1, provided by the Joint Industry-Wide Labor Management Safety Commission. The guidelines require an experienced, qualified armorer to be put in charge of all handling, use, and safekeeping of firearms on set. These duties include “inspecting the firearm and barrel before and after every firing sequence,” and “checking all firearms before each use.”

The guidelines do not make it the performer’s responsibility to check any firearm. Performers train to perform, and they are not required or expected to be experts on guns or experienced in their use. The industry assigns that responsibility to qualified professionals who oversee their use and handling in every aspect. Anyone issued a firearm on set must be given training and guidance in its safe handling and use, but all activity with firearms on a set must be under the careful supervision and control of the professional armorer and the employer.”