Is Alec Baldwin really legally responsible for the death of Halyna Hutchins? Since the death of the director of photography on the set of the Western film Rust, the criminal case has been proceeding.
Baldwin has now been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, as has armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who allegedly handed Baldwin the gun which was loaded with live rounds.
He says, to his knowledge, the gun was “cold” and he didn’t even pull the trigger. The set of the film was in New Mexico. Under local law, Baldwin could face up to five years in prison if the jury finds involuntary manslaughter.
Baldwin’s Lawyer Responds
Luke Nikas, Baldwin’s attorney, said his client has always acted in good faith and is entirely innocent of the charges. According to Nikas, Baldwin trusted the film set crew and believed he was handling 100% safe equipment without any live rounds.
Baldwin has pleaded not guilty in the October 2021 incident and consistently maintained his innocence. He even claimed in an interview with George Stephanopoulos that he never pulled the trigger, a claim that forensic experts have deemed physically impossible.
Baldwin claims it is not his duty to check the pistol; his role is to act according to the instructions of the script. Dave Halls, the assistant director, pleaded guilty to negligent use of a firearm and got a plea deal with probation.
According to Baldwin, it was Hutchins who asked him to point the gun at her and shoot her so she could get a better notion of the camera angle in the shot.
Since then, Baldwin has received numerous messages saying you shouldn’t point a gun at someone, whether or not you know if it’s loaded.
Alec Baldwin, Guilty or Innocent? I vote guilty. Who fires a gun without checking to see if rounds are real or fake!
— Walter (@walter4freedom) January 19, 2023
Many conservatives dislike Baldwin for his perspective in favor of gun control. Though if we’re going to look at the case objectively, Baldwin is right to say he was just doing his job.
An actor doesn’t act alone. It has to be directed and the actor has to do only what the director of the film set and supporting staff asked him to do.
Baldwin said like Hutchins, they both had no idea the gun was loaded. It was just an ordinary day’s work until it turned deadly.
Hutchins would never have asked Baldwin to point the gun directly at her if she thought it was loaded with real ammunition. Unless she wanted to kill herself and that wasn’t the case.
Baldwin claims this responsibility was the armorer’s job. Both he and Hutchins fully thought it was a clean weapon and no ammunition. Other incidents allegedly took place on set with Gutierrez-Reed accidentally discharging weapons and behaving in an unprofessional manner.
Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, however, continues to blame the actor, and not only Gutierrez-Reed.
I feel horrible for Alec Baldwin. The man did nothing wrong and was devastated by the shooting. He is innocent.
— Anna Shores (@AnnaShores3) January 19, 2023
Taking the Blame
If found guilty, Baldwin could face a sentence of fewer than 18 months or up to five years in prison on the first and second charges, respectively.
According to district attorney Carmack-Altwis, Baldwin would have to look into the gun he handled while recording the shot and should have seen it was loaded.
Also, according to testimony from several actors, they said it is a common act to check the weapon they will handle during some work.
Baldwin’s future remains uncertain; he may still make a plea deal here, partially admitting to guilt. We will keep you tuned.This article appeared in FreshOffThePress and has been published here with permission.