Actor Alec Baldwin and “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed are facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter for the October 2021 death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
The “30 Rock” actor has so far been successful in his legal attempts to turn the tide in his favor. He successfully got the firearm enhancement charge removed last month after his lawyers argued that it was unconstitutional. Although it would have resulted in a mandatory five-year prison stay if he had been convicted, the statute was not enacted until seven months after Hutchins’ passing.
After his lawyers filed to have “Rust” special prosecutor and GOP-elect Andrea Reeb dismissed from the case, she decided to step down earlier this month “so that the prosecution can focus on the evidence and the facts,” as she said in a brief statement.
Alec Baldwin Accuses ‘Rust’ Prosecutors Of Violating His ‘Constitutional Rights’ To A Fair Trial
On Tuesday, Baldwin’s defense team placed a new court filing in the docket, claiming that the Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmarck-Altwies and former special prosecutor Andrea Reeb violated his “constitutional rights” by threatening his right to a fair trial.
“The government’s conduct represented a disregard of its ethical duties, and it has threatened Mr. Baldwin’s right to a fair trial,” a section of the filing states, via Deadline. The DA has accused Alec Baldwin of “gross negligence and a reckless disregard for safety” and more on the set of the Western film.
The preliminary examination against Alec Baldwin and “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed begins on May 3, but the DA’s witness list, which has already been amended five times, is due a few weeks before to give Baldwin’s legal team time to prepare.
Both Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed could face a maximum of 18 months behind bars and around $5,000 in fines if convicted; however, it is also possible that they could face probation and spend no time in jail at all. Baldwin pleaded not guilty on February 23 and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed filed not guilty soon after.
Lawyers For Both Baldwin And Gutierrez-Reed Intended To Fight The Charges
First assistant director David Halls pleaded guilty to the charge of the negligent use of a firearm and is facing probation. He has been added to the amended witness list, as well as Halyna Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, who is now an executive producer on the “Rust” film as part of a civil lawsuit settlement.
In a statement made at the time the charges were announced in January 2023, Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, was already intent on fighting the charges against his client. In his statement, Nikas claimed that Hutchins’ death was “tragic” and passing charges against the actor was a “terrible miscarriage of justice.”
Nikas wrote, “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.”
“He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds,” Nikas continued. “We will fight these charges, and we will win.”
Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer Jason Bowles also released a statement, saying, “Hannah is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident. But she did not commit involuntary manslaughter.”
“These charges are the result of a very flawed investigation, and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts,” Bowles added. “We intend to bring the full truth to light and believe Hannah will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury.”
‘Rust’ Will Begin Filming This Spring In Montana
Despite the criminal charges he is facing, Alec Baldwin is expected to return to finish filming his scenes for “Rust” this spring, when production moves to Montana. Last month, The Hollywood Reporter reported that a “mix of new and old crew members” were returning to work on the set of the Western film.
Bianca Cline, who has worked on “America Horror Story” and “Marcel The Shell With Shoes On” is accepted the position as the new cinematographer for the film. According to Rust Movie Productions, Cline will donate her salary to charity and has Matthew Hutchins’ “blessing and support” to finish the role started by his late wife.
According to Melina Spadone, a lawyer for Rust Movie Productions, the infamous church scene that led to Hutchins’ passing has since been rewritten. It seems that there might have been some other changes to the script, as Deadline announced earlier this week that the production team is looking to hire a new actor.
Producers are currently casting the role of a young boy who is hard of hearing. The character of Jacob Hollister is a supporting role. The description says that the character is “a smart, sweet little boy who knows nothing of the world other than what his older brother Lucas has created for him. Lucas is all Jacob has in the world.”