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Actor Alec Baldwin being charged in shooting death on movie set

The celebrated actor was filming a scene using a gun that was loaded with live bullets instead of dummy rounds
Actor Alec Baldwin being charged in shooting death on movie set
Alec Baldwin at The 2015 Fragrance Foundation Awards in New York City.

Iconic actor Alec Baldwin will be charged by New Mexico prosecutors in the tragic shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film Rust.

The Emmy Award-winning star of “30 Rock,” along with the movie’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, will face two counts of involuntary manslaughter after the gun went off accidentally while the movie was being filmed, according to NBC News. 

Baldwin, 64, was reportedly rehearsing a scene inside a church at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico when the gun he was handed reportedly fired off live bullets instead of blanks.

New Mexico prosecutors determined that there was sufficient evidence of negligence exemplified by Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed which directly resulted in Hutchins’ being killed. 

“If any one of these three people — Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed or David Halls — had done their job, Halyna Hutchins would be alive today. It’s that simple,” Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor on the case, said in a statement released Thursday that was obtained by NBC. “The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set.”

Halls, the assistant director of Rust, took a plea deal and was handed a suspended sentence and six months probation.

Joel Souza, the movie’s director, was injured by the bullet but eventually recovered. Prosecutors said there will not be any charges levied against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed regarding Souza. 

Hutchins’ family attorney Brian Panish thanked authorities for pursuing the charges.

“It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law,” Panish said, according to the news station. “We support the charges, will fully cooperate with this prosecution, and fervently hope the justice system works to protect the public and hold accountable those who break the law.”

Involuntary manslaughter, a fourth-degree felony, carries up to an 18-month prison sentence and a $5000 fine upon conviction in New Mexico. The more serious charge, involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, can carry up to five years in prison. 

Baldwin will vigorously defend himself against the charges and expects to be exonerated.

“This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice,” Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, said in a statement. “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. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”

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