Alec Baldwin And Rust Armorer Officially Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter

Alec Baldwin and the Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed have officially been charged. It was announced the two would face criminal charges, and now, they have been formally charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, following the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins after a prop gun misfired.  

On Tuesday, January 31, the First Judicial District Court in New Mexico filed formal charges against the two, and a judge will decide whether to move the case forward or not following a preliminary hearing, according to The New York Times.

Offical court papers say the prosecutors accused Baldwin of failing to follow standard safety protocol on a film set, not getting proper firearm training, not dealing with safety complaints on set, as well as “putting his finger on the trigger of a real firearm when a replica gun should have been used,” and pointing the gun at the director and cinematographer. Robert Shilling, the special investigator for the district attorney’s office wrote in his statement:

This reckless deviation from known standards and practice and protocol directly caused the fatal shooting.

According to the documents, via NYT, the armorer, Gutierrez-Reed, has been accused of not checking the rounds loaded into the gun, “allowing live rounds on scene” and letting there be unsecured ammunition. The report also accused her of allowing Baldwin to point the firearm at the cinematographer, not using a rubber replica of the gun during rehearsal, and not having enough experience or training to be an armorer on a film as big as Rust.

Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, said they will fight the charges and win, saying that charging his client “distorts Halyna Hutchins’s tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice.” Guiterrez-Reed’s lawyer said his client would be exonerated.

This case will now go to trial, and a jury will decide if the defendants will be convicted. If they are the jury will also have to decide which definition of manslaughter applies, according to NYT. One charge will carry a prison sentence of up to 18 months while the other is a more serious charge that has a required five-year sentence in prison due to “firearm enhancement,” a prosecutor said.

A Senta Fe judge will decide if there was probable cause to move forward with criminal charges in a preliminary hearing.

Amid all the news surrounding the charges, it’s been said that Baldwin is reportedly “prepared for all outcomes.” The actor is allegedly “distraught,” and he and his wife are trying to focus on their kids and “stay strong for” them. The actor has also lost jobs because of the shooting and now charges.

Along with the charges, the film that was originally planned to come out on the 2023 movie schedule, has also faced a fine of $136,793, which is the maximum fine and highest level citation New Mexico will allow by state law.

Now that both people have been officially charged, CinemaBlend will continue to report on updates surrounding Alec Baldwin, Rust and the trial.

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.