Santa Fe County Prosecutors have announced that they will be reducing Alec Baldwin’s initial charges of involuntary manslaughter in the fatal on-set shooting of Halyna Hutchins. This comes one month after their original decision regarding these charges.
This decision significantly reduces the amount of possible prison time for the actor.
On October 21, 2021 Baldwin was holding a revolver for a close-up shot while in rehearsal for the western movie Rust, when the gun somehow discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. The film’s director, Joel Souza, was also wounded in the incident.
Had Santa Fe County elected to move forward with their initial charges, Baldwin would have received a minimum prison sentence of five years, as opposed to the maximum 18 months in prison he now faces with the reduced charges.
Heather Brewer, a spokeswoman for district attorney, Mary Carmack-Altwies, explained the decision to downgrade the original charges was made in the hopes that they could “avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys.”
Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, said “this decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice. Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set.”
Nikas concluded his statement admonishing Santa Fe County prosecutors with this, saying Baldwin “relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”
Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the film’s armorer, who was in charge of weapons on the set, was also charged with involuntary manslaughter.