Alec Baldwin made ‘inconsistent statements’ about Rust shooting, prosecutors conclude
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Alec Baldwin's 'inconsistent statements' regarding the shooting on the set of the Rust movie have been listed as one of the reasons he was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.
The 64-year-old actor was charged by Santa Fe's District Attorney's Office yesterday (31 January) following the shooting which caused the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021.
The film's armourer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, while first assistant director David Halls has already agreed to plead no contest to the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon.
The DA's filing listed several reasons for the charges against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed, with investigator Robert Shilling stating that, for one, Baldwin had limited firearms training on the New Mexico set.
The investigator described how statements and evidence proved there was no safety meeting conducted on the day of the fatal shooting, and how Baldwin, a producer of Rust, knew the production company had hired Guiterrez-Reed despite evidence that she was unqualified.
By having Guiterrez-Reed assigned to be an assistant prop master as well as armourer, Baldwin also 'violated industry standards and practices by allowing this reckless and generally prohibited practice, resulting in reckless action(s) taking place prior to and on the day of the shooting', Shilling said.
Baldwin 'failed to act to mitigate or correct the reckless safety violations, neither in his capacity as actor nor producer', according to the filing, and displayed 'very inconsistent accounts of what happened during the incident when firing the gun that killed Hutchins' during numerous media and law enforcement interviews'.
Backing his claims about the inconsistent statements, Shilling cited evidence which showed Baldwin had his finger inside the trigger of the gun which killed Hutchins, and that the trigger was pulled.
However, Baldwin had previously told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos he would 'never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger'.
Shilling pointed out how photos and videos 'clearly show Baldwin, multiple times, with his finger inside of the trigger guard and on the trigger, while manipulating the hammer and while drawing, pointing, and holstering the revolver'.
News of the involuntary manslaughter charges comes after Santa Fe First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb announced their decision to file charges earlier in January.
After being charged, Baldwin and Guiterrez-Reed will both be issued a summons for their first court appearance. Both counts of involuntary manslaughter are fourth-degree felonies which can carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison, though the addition of a firearm enhancement on one of the charges could carry a mandatory sentence of five years in prison.
Topics: Celebrity, Alec Baldwin, Film and TV, Crime