‘Rust’ movie to be completed and star Alec Baldwin still facing manslaughter charges in crew member’s death, attorney says



CNN

A production attorney told CNN on Friday that Alec Baldwin, who is set to face manslaughter charges in the death of a crew member during a “Rust” rehearsal, will continue to star.

As the film continues, operations will include “safety supervisors and union crew members, and will preclude any use of work weapons or any ammunition,” Melina Spadoni, an attorney for Rust Movie Productions, said.

Spadon’s comments come a day after prosecutors announced plans to charge Baldwin and the film’s creator, Hannah Gutierrez Reid, in the October 2021 shooting of Halena Hutchins at a ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Hutchins, the film’s director of photography, was hit by a live bullet fired from a prop gun by Baldwin, and director Joel Sousa was hit in the right shoulder. Spadoni said Sousa will continue to direct the film as production progresses.

Baldwin, who is also a producer on the film, did not respond to reporters’ requests for comment on the accusations as he drove home to Manhattan on Friday. A source close to Baldwin told CNN on Friday that he plans to complete the film.

Despite the New Mexico Chief Medical Officer’s ruling that even though the fatal shooting was an accident, prosecutors believe a crime was committed.

“Just because it’s an accident doesn’t mean it’s not criminal,” District 1 District Attorney Mary Carmack Altoys said Thursday as she explained the indictment. “Our manslaughter law includes manslaughter.”

Carmack-Altoys said she would charge Baldwin and the film-maker with involuntary manslaughter, accusing them of failing to implement safety measures that could have prevented the accident.

Carmack-Altoys told CNN that formal charges are expected to be filed by the end of the month.

“Every person who carries a gun has a duty to make sure that if he’s going to use that gun, point it at somebody and pull the trigger, that it’s not going to fire a shell and kill someone,” Carmack-Altois said.

However, prosecutors face daunting challenges trying to prosecute a case centered around a prominent Hollywood figure as well as the legal limits they must prove to obtain a conviction.

Baldwin was a major film, Broadway and TV star for decades, winning an Emmy Award for the TV movie “30 Rock” and an Oscar nomination for 2003’s The Cooler.

Carmack-Altoys said the experiences of Baldwin and the filmmaker could take weeks to a month and would require expert certification.

The district attorney has requested $635,000 in “emergency” money “to prosecute such a high-profile case,” she wrote to state officials last August.

She said, “I need funding for an attorney, investigator, media contact person, paralegal, expert witnesses, and public trial expenses.”

Even before any trial takes place, each defendant will attend a preliminary hearing to determine if there is probable cause for prosecution.

“These hearings will take weeks to complete and will happen quickly once charges are filed,” Carmack-Altoys said.

But it would be difficult to prosecute the case since it’s unclear how the live tours began, according to Ellie Honig, CNN’s chief legal analyst, adding that experts have differing opinions regarding the specific responsibilities of the cast and crew members.

“Remember, this is a criminal case. You need all 12 jurors to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. So I’m not saying there’s no chance here, but this is a really difficult case for the prosecution.

Santa Fe District Attorney

Santa Fe Da explains decision to charge Alec Baldwin with shooting ‘Rust’

Carmack Altoys said that Baldwin faces charges both as the person accused of shooting the gun and as the film’s producer, arguing that Baldwin as a producer has a responsibility to ensure the safety of the set.

Prosecutors say Gutierrez Reed, the armorer in the film who carried the prop gun, is also responsible for not ensuring the safety of the gun. Her lawyer said she believed the shells were dummy munitions.

“No one was checking them, or at least they weren’t checking them frequently,” Carmack-Altoys said. And then they were somehow loaded into a gun that was given to Alec Baldwin. It didn’t check. He didn’t do any of the things he was supposed to do to make sure he was safe or anyone around him was safe. Then he pointed the gun at Helena Hutchins and pulled the trigger. “.

Baldwin maintained that he did not pull the trigger and did not know the gun contained live ammunition.

Gutierrez-Reid and Baldwin will face two counts of manslaughter, Carmack-Altoys said when announcing the charges, but each count carries a different level of punishment.

The prosecutor said the jury would decide the most appropriate charge, and if convicted, they would be sentenced to only one count.

Conviction for both defendants carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. But Carmack-Altoys said one count carries additional firearms enhancement — due to the presence of a weapon — and would require a mandatory five-year prison sentence.

On the charges against him, Gutierrez Reid’s attorney Jason Bowles said Thursday, “We expect the charges but they are completely wrong about Hannah – we expect the jury to find not guilty and that she did not commit manslaughter. She was emotional about the tragedy but she didn’t commit any crime “.

Meanwhile, Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nicas, said the actor was “shocked” by the charges against him.

“Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on set. He relied on the professionals he was working with, who assured him that the gun had no live rounds.”

When prosecutors announced the charges Thursday, the Hutchins family applauded their decision.

“It is a great relief for the family that in New Mexico, no one is above the law,” the family said in a statement issued by attorney Brian Banish.

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