Prosecutors Claim Alec Baldwin Was Reckless With Guns Before Shooting


Prosecutors are accusing Alec Baldwin of being reckless with guns on set of Rust before the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins‘ ever occurred.

According to court documents obtained by ET, Special Prosecutors Kari T. Morrisey and Erlinda O. Johnson, who are overseeing the prosecution in Baldwin’s upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial, allege that the actor engaged in “horseplay” with a gun during training and allege that his nature during filming was “erratic and aggressive.”

Furthermore, they claim that Baldwin fired a blank round at a crew member while simultaneously using the crew member to establish a line of sight, and allege that the actor and producer insisted on not being held to industry safety standards when filming resumed months after the fatal shooting.

This development comes just two weeks after news broke that the prosecutors are also asking a judge to grant Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed “use immunity” so she can testify. According to court documents previously obtained by ET, the prosecutors requested that the Santa Fe First Judicial District Court grant Gutierrez-Reed “use immunity” after she submitted to a pre-trial interview on May 14, “wherein she asserted her Fifth Amendment privilege to all substantive questions.”

The state’s requesting for a hearing to settle the matter before Baldwin’s case begins next month. The state’s motion comes after Gutierrez-Reed was officially sentenced after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in connection to Hutchins‘ death more than two years ago.

On April 15, a judge sentenced the 26-year-old to 18 months at a New Mexico Correctional Facility, noting that her “reckless” actions on set led directly to Hutchins’ death.

Gutierrez-Reed gave an emotional statement in court, saying she was disheartened by the way the media has portrayed her as a “monster” and offering her prayers to Hutchins’ family to find peace.

Youtube/Court TV

On March 6, a New Mexico jury deliberated for two and a half hours before returning on the guilty verdict on the involuntary manslaughter count and not guilty of tampering with evidence. As the jury read the verdict in a packed courtroom, she showed no emotion and calmly removed a necklace before she was remanded into custody, as requested by state prosecutors.

Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers sought to have their client out of jail until her sentencing date, but the judge immediately ruled against them.

“The reason why I’m going to remand you is you are now convicted, and this is a death,” the judge said. “This is criminal negligence, but it’s still death and so, deputies you are going to take her into custody.”

In a statement to ET, Gloria Allred and John Carpenter, the attorneys representing Hutchins’ parents, Olga Solovey and Anatolli Androsovych, and sister, Svetlana Zemkoand, reacted to the verdict in a statement to ET.

“Halyna’s parents and her sister have always wanted everyone who is responsible for Halyna’s death to be held accountable. Today was the first trial and conviction in the criminal justice process,” the statement read. “We are satisfied that the jury, based on the evidence, found Hannah Gutierrez-Reed guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for her part in the taking of Halyna’s life.”

“We look forward to the justice system continuing to make sure that everyone else who is responsible for Halyna’s death is required to face the legal consequences for their actions,” the statement concluded.

Baldwin has pled not guilty to an involuntary manslaughter charge in connection to Hutchins’ death more than two years ago on the set of Rust.

On Jan. 31, Baldwin filed a waiver of arraignment in Santa Fe County, New Mexico’s First Judicial District Court. ET has reached out to Baldwin’s legal team for comment.

But nearly week after Baldwin waived arraignment, a judge reassignment occurred on Feb. 6. This move triggered the First Judicial District Court to cancel the Aug. 6 jury selection date, thus canceling the trial date. 

Baldwin’s not guilty plea came 12 days after special prosecutors Kari T. Morrissey and Jason Lewis announced that the 65-year-old faces up to 18 months in prison, if convicted of the fourth-degree felony. The special prosecutors had said back in October 2023 that they intended to present their case to a grand jury to determine if probable cause existed to criminally charge the actor over the film’s cinematographer’s death on Oct. 21, 2021. 

Attorney Gloria Allred also responded to the involuntary manslaughter charge news, telling ET in a statement, “Our clients have always sought the truth about what happened on the day that Halyna Hutchins was tragically shot and killed on October 21, 2021. They continue to seek the truth in our civil lawsuit for them and they also would like there to be accountability in the criminal justice system.”

Hutchins was killed on the set of Rust when the prop gun Baldwin was holding suddenly discharged, striking and killing the cinematographer and injuring Souza.

In the months since tragedy struck in New Mexico, lawsuits were filed, criminal charges were filed — then dropped, for Baldwin — and allegations were made, including that the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, consumed alcohol and smoked marijuana during filming of the Western.

Then, on June 29, 2023, prosecutors filed legal documents claiming Gutierrez-Reed “transferred a ‘small bag of cocaine'” to a witness it has been in contact with. Prosecutors allege the incident happened on Oct. 21, 2021 after the embattled Rust armorer returned from her interview at the police station on the day of the fatal shooting.

Furthermore, prosecutors allege that the transfer of evidence “strongly support the charge that Hannah transferred the cocaine to avoid prosecution and prevent law enforcement from obtaining evidences directly related to Hannah’s handling of the firearm and the circumstances of the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins.”

Gutierrez-Reed has now entered a plea in her case and a trial date has been set for February. 

In a statement to ET, Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer, Jason Bowles, questioned how prosecutors were able to get “a secret witness” to appear 20 months later.

“With no actual corroboration or evidence?  And the state won’t identify the person?” Bowles added. “This is a throwback to the secret, star chamber prosecutions in England in the 15th century that were abolished. Like everything else with the state’s case and investigation, it’s full of sound and fury, but signifying nothing.”

As for allegations she consumed alcohol and smoked marijuana during filming of the Western, prosecutors alleged in court documents, obtained by ET, that she likely was hungover when she loaded the prop gun with a “live bullet.” Prosecutors also claimed witnesses told investigators that Gutierrez-Reed “was drinking heavily and smoking marijuana in the evenings during the shooting of Rust.”

“It is likely that Defendant Gutierrez was hung over when she inserted a live bullet into a gun that she knew was going to be used at some point by an actor while filming a shooting scene with other actors and crew members,” prosecutors said in the filing in response to a May motion by Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys to dismiss an indictment against her.

ET has been covering the story since the news first broke on Oct. 21, 2021. Here’s everything that has come to light since the fatal shooting.

The Initial Incident

On the evening of Oct. 22, 2021, the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department confirmed to ET that Baldwin discharged a gun that was being used as a prop on the set of his western drama, Rust, which was filming on the Bonanza Creek Ranch.

Hutchins, 42, was transported by helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, according to authorities. She was pronounced dead by medical personnel at the hospital. 

Souza, 50, received emergency medical care after being transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical center in Santa Fe. He was later released.

Baldwin was reportedly questioned by investigators at the Sheriff’s Department, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. The actor was also photographed outside the Sheriff’s Department after answering questions, and was reportedly in tears as he spoke with someone on the phone.

Alec Baldwin Speaks Out

One day after the incident, Baldwin took to Twitter to address the on-set tragedy

“There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,” he wrote. “I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family.”

Baldwin Was Allegedly Told the Gun Was Safe

According to an affidavit filed by the Santa Fe County’s Sheriff’s Office obtained by The Associated Press and The New York Times, assistant director Dave Halls unintentionally handed the actor the weapon and told him it was safe to use

Per the affidavit, the assistant director did not know the prop gun was loaded with live rounds. It also notes that the weapon that was fired and Baldwin’s wardrobe, which was blood-stained, were taken as evidence. Other prop guns, ammunition and any footage that might exist were also confiscated, AP reports. It’s still unclear how many rounds were fired.

The Production Already Faced Troubles

Rust reportedly had a series of problems before Hutchins’ tragic death and Souza’s injury. 

Multiple reports noted that prior to the fatal shooting, many union crew members walked off set in protest of “poor” working conditions. There had also been at least one incident of a prop gun misfiring on the Rust set prior to the fatal accident, Deadline reported.

“The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company. Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down,” Rust Movie Productions, LLC said in a statement to ET. “We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time.”

On Nov. 3, 2021, Lane Luper, the former camera assistant for Rust, appeared on Good Morning America, and revealed why he quit the project a day prior to the fatal shooting. 

Luper cited “lax COVID policies, the housing situation… and specifically gun safety, a lack of rehearsals, a lack of preparing the crew for what we were doing that day,” as reasons for his resignation, stating, “I only personally remember two safety meetings that involved the entire crew.”

Producers of the film disputed Luper’s claims to ABC News, calling them “patently false,” and noting that “he had absolutely nothing to do with, or knowledge of, safety protocols” on the set.

Rust Shuts Down Production

Shortly after the shooting, a memo was sent out by the Rust production team to the cast and crew of the film, noting that they “have made the decision to wrap the set at least until the investigations are complete.”

“Although our hearts are broken, and it is hard to see beyond the horizon, this is, at the moment, a pause rather than an end,” read the memo. “The spirit that brought us all to this special place remains.”

The message further stated that they are cooperating with authorities in their investigation and are also “conducting an internal review of safety protocols.”

That statement noted the production team will “remain in close touch with Halyna’s family and commend the strength they show in the face of unspeakable tragedy.” 

“We will be making a donation to the Halyna Hutchins Scholarship Fund established by Halyna’s family,” the message concluded. “We will be matching any donations by the crew.”

However, when Baldwin was asked if he thought the movie would resume production, he said, “No, I don’t.”

Assistant Director Dave Halls Had Been Fired From Past Productions

According to a CNN report published on Oct. 25, 2021, the assistant director was previously the subject of complaints on the set of two productions in 2019.

The complaints leveled against Halls accused him of unsafe practices, a disregard for safety protocols with regard to firearms used during filming, and inappropriate behavior toward crew members. The complaints stemmed from his work on two episodes of the Hulu anthology horror series Into the Dark.

ET also learned that Halls was fired from the set of the 2019 drama Freedom’s Path. The film’s production company, Rocket Soul Studios, released a statement to ET regarding his termination from the project.

“First of all, our condolences go out to everyone affected by the recent tragic event in New Mexico,” the statement shared. “We can confirm that Dave Halls was fired from the set of Freedom’s Path in 2019 after a crew member incurred a minor and temporary injury when a gun was unexpectedly discharged. Halls was removed from set immediately after the prop gun discharged. Production did not resume filming until Dave was off-site. An incident report was taken and filed at that time.”

Rust Director Joel Souza Says He’s “Gutted” by Hutchins’ Death

In a statement shared with NBC News on Oct. 24, 2021, Souza, who has since been released from the hospital, said he was “gutted” by the loss of his friend and colleague.

“She was kind, vibrant, incredibly talented, fought for every inch and always pushed me to be better,” he said. “My thoughts are with her family at this most difficult time.”

Souza continued, “I am humbled and grateful by the outpouring of affection we have received from our filmmaking community, the people of Santa Fe, and the hundreds of strangers who have reached out…It will surely aid in my recovery.”

More Details Around the Fatal Shooting Emerge From People on Set

Serge Svetnoy, the chief electrician on the set of Rust, accused the film’s armorer and the producers of “negligence and unprofessionalism.” He took to Facebook on Oct. 24, 2021, to lay blame on who he claims is responsible for Hutchins‘ death.

“I was holding her in my arms while she was dying. Her blood was on my hands,” Svetnoy wrote in his post, which was also penned in Russian. “I want to tell my opinion on why this has happened. I think I have the right to do it. It’s the fault of negligence and unprofessionalism.”

Svetnoy explained how he’d worked with Hutchins on previous films, and says he was “standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Halyna during this fatal shot that took her life.” The crew member went on to slam the producers of the film for not having “professionals” working on set.

Firearms Expert Says a Real Gun Killed Halyna Hutchins

Firearms expert Steve Wolf provided insight into how an incident like this could occur. He explained to ET that, while the gun was used in the film as a prop, it was still very much a real, working firearm and the term “prop gun” is a misnomer, and has been misused in reports on the incident.

“The gun that Helena was shot with was not a prop gun. A prop gun is a gun that has either been modified to only accept blanks, or has been specifically manufactured to only accept blanks,” Wolf explained. “If bullets came out of this gun it was not a prop gun. It was a real gun that was being used as a prop in the movie.”

According to a report from The Wrap, crew members on the film allegedly used the gun for target practice, shooting beer cans with real ammunition, to pass time on set. This could potentially explain how a real bullet got confused for a fake and remained in the gun.

“Don’t bring guns on the set that you can put bullets into. Don’t have live ammo on the set,” Wolf said. “And most importantly don’t point a gun at someone that doesn’t pose a threat to you.”

Rust Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Breaks Her Silence

In a statement to ET, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys, Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence, extended her deepest and most sincere condolences to Hutchins’ family and friends. “Hannah is devastated and completely beside herself over the events that have transpired,” the statement reads in part, before addressing “some untruths that have been told to the media, which have falsely portrayed her and slandered her.”

“Safety is Hannah’s number one priority on set,” her lawyers stated. “Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from. Hannah and the prop master gained control over the guns and she never witnessed anyone shoot live rounds with these guns and nor would she permit that. They were locked up every night and at lunch and there’s no way a single one of them was unaccounted for or being shot by crew members. Hannah still, to this day, has never had an accidental discharge. The first one on this set was the prop master and the second was a stunt man after Hannah informed him his gun was hot with blanks.”

Her legal council further claimed in the statement that the “whole production set became unsafe due to various factors, including lack of safety meetings,” and added that “this was not the fault of Hannah.”

On Nov. 3, 2021, Bowles spoke out on GMA, stating that discovering how live rounds got on the set is “going to be critical” amid the ongoing investigation.

“We know Hannah did not put the live rounds in that box, we know the live rounds shouldn’t have been in that box, but they were… There is no purpose for a live round on this set. Zero. Hannah made that clear,” he said. “There was no reason for there to be live rounds, she didn’t have live rounds, she didn’t purchase any of this ammunition. This ammunition was purchased by other people, production. Whoever brought these live rounds on set was wrong, and I think they had a bad intention. That’s what we believe.”

Alec Baldwin Speaks on Camera for the First Time

On Oct. 30, 2021, Baldwin addressed the incident on camera while in Vermont with his family. 

“I’m not allowed to make any comments because it’s an ongoing investigation. I’ve been ordered by the Sheriff’s Department in Santa Fe. I can’t answer any questions about the investigation. I can’t,” he said. “It’s an active investigation in terms of a woman died.”

“She was my friend. She was my friend,” he continued of Hutchins. “The day I arrived in Santa Fe to start shooting, I took her to dinner with Joel, the director. We were a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together, and then this horrible event happened. I’ve been told multiple times, ‘Don’t make any comments about the ongoing investigation.’ I can’t.”

Baldwin noted that he’s spoken to Hutchins’ husband, Matthew, saying, “The guy is overwhelmed with grief.”

Assistant Director Dave Halls Speaks Out

On Nov. 2, 2021, Halls, the assistant director on Rust, spoke out for the first time in a statement to ET.

“Halyna Hutchins was not just one of the most talented people I’ve worked with, but also a friend,” Halls told ET, via his attorney, Lisa Torraco. “I’m shocked and saddened by her death. It’s my hope that this tragedy prompts the industry to reevaluate its values and practices to ensure no one is harmed through the creative process again.”

“I have been overwhelmed by the love and support,” he continues. “My thoughts are with all who knew and loved Halyna.”

Alec Baldwin Defends Working Conditions on Rust

On Nov. 2, 2021, Baldwin, the star and a producer on Rust, took to Instagram to share a series of screenshots of a note from Terese Magpale Davis, who was working in the costume department on the set of the Western. In the thread, Davis discounted rumors that the cast and crew of Rust were working under unsafe or unfair conditions.

“I’m so sick of this narrative,” Davis began. “I worked on this movie. The story being spun of us being overworked and surrounded by unsafe, chaotic conditions is bulls**t.”

Davis defended the producers of Rust, stating, “Concerns were heard and addressed.”

She then claimed that the crew had a “union rep” who advised production to “not give into the camera crew,” adding that they were “given permission to hire off” of a union overflow list, after sharing that the camera crew started demanding things that the union did not require.

Too Early to Press Charges

Mendoza, the Santa Fe County Sheriff, said that it was “too early” to talk about possible charges being filed. “The investigation will continue and if the Sheriff’s Office determines during our investigation that a crime has occurred and probable cause exists, an arrest or arrests will be made and charges will be filed,” he told the press.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s Lawyers Insist She Did Firearms Training With Actors on Set

On Nov. 4, 2021, the armorer’s lawyer, Bowles, told ET in a statement that “Hannah was incredibly safety conscious and took her job very seriously from the moment she started on October 4th.”

“She did firearms training for the actors as well as Mr. Baldwin, she fought for more training days and she regularly emphasized to never point a firearm at a person. Never in a million years did Hannah think that live rounds could have been in the ‘dummy’ Round box,” reads the statement. “Who put those in there and why is the central question. Hannah kept guns locked up, including throughout lunch on the day in question, and she instructed her department to watch the cart containing the guns when she was pulled away for her other duties or on a lunch break. Hannah did everything in her power to ensure a safe set.”

Bowles is adamant that the armorer “inspected the rounds that she loaded into the firearms that day,” and “did again right before handing the firearm to Mr. Halls, by spinning the cylinder and showing him all of the rounds and then handing him the firearm.”

The statement concludes, “No one could have anticipated or thought that someone would introduce live rounds into this set.”

Lawsuit Settled

Nearly a year after the shooting, Baldwin settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Hutchins’ family on Oct. 5, 2022. “We are pleased to announce today the settlement of the civil case filed on behalf of the family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins,” a statement released on Baldwin’s Instagram page read.

Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, added in a statement to ET: “Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”

In a separate statement, Matthew Hutchins told ET, “We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, for our wrongful death case against the producers of Rust including Alec Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions, LLC. As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed.”

Production to Resume

As part of the wrongful death settlement, it was revealed that production on the film would resume once more, and that Matthew would now be financially involved in the project and an executive producer.

In a separate statement from Matthew, following the settlement, he explained, “The filming of Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board, in January 2023. I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin). All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”

Moving From New Mexico

ET learned in late October 2022 that “The production of Rust will not return to New Mexico,” according to Melina Spadone, Attorney for Rust Movie Productions LLC, in a statement to ET. “The production is considering other locations, including California, but no decisions have been made.” 

Moving forward, Rust production will have a safety officer on set. The resumption, like the original production, will continue to be filmed under agreements with industry labor unions.

Baldwin Files His Own Lawsuits

A month after settling his wrongful death lawsuit, Baldwin filed a lawsuit of his own against the armorer and several other crew members involved in the Rust production for negligence. The lawsuit alleged that armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed “failed to check the bullets or the gun carefully;” assistant director David Halls “failed to check the gun carefully and yet announced the gun was safe before handing it to Baldwin;” and prop master Sarah Zachry “failed to disclose that Gutierrez-Reed had been acting recklessly off set and was a safety risk to those around her.” 

Furthermore, Baldwin, who was also one of the film’s six producers, “did not know and had no reason to know any of these facts,” the suit reads.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed Charged

On Jan. 19, 2023, the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb announced in a statement that the actor and armorer were charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed were also “charged in the alternative” with the two counts of manslaughter, meaning that a jury would decide not simply if they were guilty, but under which definition of involuntary manslaughter they were guilty.

As for David Halls, the film’s assistant director, he signed a plea deal for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. The terms include a suspended sentence and six months of probation.

No charges were filed specific to the non-fatal shooting of Souza.

“After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the Rust film crew,” Carmack-Altwies said. “On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”

Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor appointed by the District Attorney to the case, added, “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. The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the Rust film set. In New Mexico, there is no room for film sets that don’t take our state’s commitment to gun safety and public safety seriously.”

Baldwin Reacts to the Charges

Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, reacted to the charges in a statement to ET. “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,” reads the statement. “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.”

Gutierrez-Reed Reacts to the Charges

Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, also released a statement to ET, which reads, “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. We intend to bring the full truth to light and believe Hannah will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury.”

The Hutchins Family Reacts to the Charges

The Hutchins family lawyer released a statement to ET after the announcement of the charges.

“We want to thank the Santa Fe Sheriff and the District Attorney for concluding their thorough investigation and determining that charges for involuntary manslaughter are warranted for the killing of Halyna Hutchins with conscious disregard for human life,” Brian J. Panish, founding partner of Panish-Shea-Boyle -Ravipudi LLP, said. “Our independent investigation also supports charges are warranted. It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law. 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.”

Baldwin Sued by Hutchins’ Family

Represented by attorneys Gloria Allred and John Carpenter, Hutchins’ family in Ukraine filed a lawsuit against Baldwin and other Rust producers over Hutchins’ death.

According to legal documents, obtained by ET, the family is alleging battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and loss of consortium for the three plaintiffs, all of whom, Allred said, seek to recover compensation for damages to certain relationships that are mutually dependent.  

The lawsuit names Baldwin; Rust Movie Productions, LLC.; Baldwin’s production company, El Dorado Productions, LLC; the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed; and a slew of others. 

In a statement to ET, the attorney for Hutchins’ husband said he was not aware that Hutchins’ family was going to file this lawsuit.

Allred answered how this lawsuit differs from the one Baldwin settled with Hutchins’ estate.

“The settlement was for Matthew and his child,” Allred explained. “And we are now representing others in the family — mom, dad, and sister — and there has been no settlement for them. Matter of fact, there has been no outreach to them by Mr. Baldwin to even say he was sorry. We want accountability and justice for them. It’s as simple as that.”

Baldwin Gets Charge Dropped, Faces Reduced Prison Sentence

Prosecutors announced on Feb. 20, 2023 that it would drop the firearms enhancement charge against Baldwin.

Now, Baldwin faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter for the shooting, which has a lesser prison sentence of 18 months, rather than five years in prison. Gutierrez-Reed had the firearms enhancement charge dropped as well and faces the same sentence. 

“In order to avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys, the District Attorney and the special prosecutor have removed the firearm enhancement to the involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the ‘Rust’ film set. The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys,” New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney spokesperson Heather Brewer said in a statement. 

Rust Production Moving to Montana

The film’s Western production set will relocate to the Yellowstone Film Ranch in Paradise Valley, Montana. This is not the same ranch where the hit Paramount Network show Yellowstone is filmed.

Yellowstone Film Ranch co-founders Richard Gray, Carter Boehm and Colin Davis issued the following joint statement on Feb. 22, 2023, saying, “The dedication and passion of the entire Rust production team to honor Halyna’s vision has deeply moved us. We’ve learned so much about Halyna as a friend and colleague, the depth of her artistry, and the lasting impact she had on so many. We are honored to play a role in the realization of her vision and to carry forward her inspiring legacy through championing this film.”

Rust director Joel Souza also made a statement: “I am deeply grateful to Richie, Carter, and Colin for the invitation to the Yellowstone Film Ranch in Montana. Their unwavering friendship, support, and now partnership in completing Rust and honoring Halyna means the world to me and our entire production team. The beauty of Montana surpasses words, and the warm hospitality and kindness extended by everyone I’ve met has been both humbling and inspiring. It is a privilege to work with such great partners as we see this through on Halyna’s behalf.”

Baldwin Enters Not Guilty Plea

The embattled actor formally entered a not guilty plea to the involuntary manslaughter charge on Feb. 23, 2023.

According to court docs, obtained by ET, the 65-year-old actor waived his right to appear on Feb. 24, 2023 before First Judicial District court Judge Mary Sommer in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, and have his rights explained to him by the judge. Baldwin instead opted to enter his plea through his attorney, Luke Nikas.

Sommer also approved an order setting several conditions for Baldwin’s release, including staying out of legal trouble, not possess firearms or dangerous weapons, not consume alcohol, and maintain contact with his attorney. He’s also been allowed to have “contact with potential witnesses only in the capacity laid out herein: In connection w/ completing Rust and other business matters; provided, however, that Defendant is not permitted to discuss the accident at issue, or the substance of his or the witnesses’ potential testimony in the case.”

Rust assistant director David Halls also did not appear in New Mexico court but pleaded not guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon. 

Gutierrez-Reed Does Not Enter a Plea

She did not enter a plea at a hearing on Feb. 24, 2023, and a status hearing was set for March 2023. In the interim, Gutierrez-Reed was released under her own recognizance.

What’s more, the judge allowed her to maintain a firearm in her home for self-defense in wake of an alleged stalker that resulted in her getting a restraining order. Her lawyer, Jason Bowles, said when the state of New Mexico released unredacted information about the Rust shooting, it resulted in Gutierrez-Reed getting unwanted phone calls.

While prosecutors said they didn’t think it was appropriate for Gutierrez-Reed to have a firearm, the judge sided with Gutierrez-Reed and said she could have a firearm in her home only. She’s also been ordered not to have any contact with witnesses set to testify in the case.

Rust Settles with New Mexico’s Workplace Health and Safety Bureau

It was announced on Feb. 24, 2023 that Rust Movie Productions, LLC and the New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OHSB) struck a settlement following alleged safety failures. 

As part of the settlement, which is still pending approval, the April 2022 citation will be downgraded from “willful-serious” to “serious.” 

And, instead of paying an initial $136,793 fine, the production company will now only have to pay a civil penalty of $100,000.

In a statement, the production company’s attorney, Melina Spadone, said, “We are pleased to have entered into an agreement with OHSB, subject to approval, which downgrades the citation and reduces penalties.”

She added, “Our top priority has always been resuming production and completing this film so we can honor the life and work of Halyna Hutchins. Settling this case rather than litigating is how we can best move forward to achieve that goal.”

Rust AD Sentenced to Probation 

Assistant director David Halls was sentenced to six months unsupervised probation after pleading no contest in New Mexico court. Halls appeared virtually in court, where he officially entered his no contest plea to negligent/unsafe handling of a firearm that led to Hutchins’ death. Halls had previously signed a plea agreement. 

As part of his plea deal, Halls must testify truthfully in all future hearings surrounding the case, must pay a $500 fine and take a firearm safety course within 60 days. He also may not possess alcohol or a controlled substance. 

Special prosecutor Kari Morrissey said, via Google Meet, that Halls was the safety coordinator and that he was the last line of defense in making sure the gun was safe to use.

Baldwin’s Charges Dropped 

In a dramatic turn of events, Baldwin’s criminal charges were dismissed.

In a statement to ET, the embattled actor’s lawyers — Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro — said they are “pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin.” The lawyers added, “We encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident.”

In a statement to ET, special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis explained why they decided to drop the charges against Baldwin.

“Over the last few days and in preparation for the May 3, 2023, preliminary hearing, new facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis in the case against Alexander ‘Alec’ Rae Baldwin, III,” the statement read. “Consequently, we cannot proceed under the current time constraints and on the facts and evidence turned over by law enforcement in its existing form. We therefore will be dismissing the involuntary manslaughter charges against Mr. Baldwin to conduct further investigation. This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled. Our follow-up investigation will remain active and on-going.”

The statement concluded that “charges against [Rust armorer] Hannah Gutierrez-Reed remain unchanged.”

Rust Resumes Filming

Filming resumed in April 2023 at Montana’s Yellowstone Film Ranch. Photos showed Baldwin in character as Harland Rust, wearing a gray shirt with blood-stained cuffs, gray pants, a button-up black vest, high leather boots and an orange bandana around his neck.

Rust Wraps Filming 

In May 2023, Baldwin took to Instagram to celebrate the end of filming on his latest project. In his post, Baldwin shared a photo of his co-stars, Frances Fisher and Patrick Scott McDermott, smiling after finishing up their work.

“Last day of filming RUST in Montana,” Baldwin wrote. “Sorry that I did not get to work with this living legend, the great @francesfisher . Patrick, I envy you.”

“It’s been a long and difficult road. But we reach the end of the trail today,” he continued. “Congratulations to Joel, [cinematographer] Bianca [Cline] and the entire cast and crew.”

Baldwin ended his post by calling the wrapping of the film, “Nothing less than a miracle.”

The actor then praised his wife for standing by him.

“I owe everything I have to this woman,” Baldwin wrote in his caption to an Instagram post of the couple, “and to you, Luke,” which is in reference to his lawyer, Luke Nikas.

Baldwin’s Wrongful Death Settlement Approved

A judge gave the stamp of approval to a settlement stemming from a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Baldwin on behalf of Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, and their son, Andros.

The details of the settlement, as well as documents and materials related to the settlement, were sealed and are not available to the public.

The lawsuit was first filed in February 2022. The following October, Matthew announced that a settlement had been reached, pending approval by the judge.

Gutierrez-Reed Allegedly Hungover on Set

Prosecutors claimed in a new court filing in June 2023 that Gutierrez-Reed was likely hungover when she inserted a live bullet into the prop gun that went off, killing Hutchins. In court documents, obtained by ET, prosecutors claimed that witnesses told investigators Gutierrez-Reed “was drinking heavily and smoking marijuana in the evenings during the shooting of Rust.”

“It is likely that Defendant Gutierrez was hung over when she inserted a live bullet into a gun that she knew was going to be used at some point by an actor while filming a shooting scene with other actors and crew members,” prosecutors said in the filing in response to a May motion by Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys to dismiss an indictment against her.

In response to the prosecutor’s claims, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, tells ET, “The prosecution has so mishandled this case and the case is so weak that they are now resorting to character assassination tactics to further taint the jury pool. This investigation and prosecution has not been about seeking Justice; for them it’s been about finding a convenient scapegoat. The case is so weak that they now have chosen to resort to character assassination claims about Hannah. The prosecution has abandoned the idea of doing justice and getting to the actual truth apparently.”

CBS News also reported that Gutierrez-Reed will plead not guilty to the two counts of involuntary manslaughter charges.

Gutierrez-Reed Charged Again 

On June 22, 2023, prosecutors filed a new charge against Gutierrez-Reed: tampering with evidence. She had been previously charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors claimed that, on or about Oct. 21, 2021, in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, Gutierrez-Reed “did transfer narcotics to another person with the intent to prevent the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of herself, and the highest crime was a fourth degree felony.”

Bowles, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney tells ET, “Something is rotten in Denmark. It is shocking that after 20 months of investigation, the special prosecutor now throws in a completely new charge against Ms. Gutierrez-Reed, with no prior notice or any witness statements, lab reports, or evidence to support it. This comes on the heels of the state letting its lead investigator go, and the investigator raising serious concerns about the investigation in an email. This stinks to high heaven and is retaliatory and vindictive.”

Gutierrez-Reed Accused of Transferring Cocaine 

On June 29, 2023, prosecutors filed legal documents in the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, claiming Gutierrez-Reed “transferred a ‘small bag of cocaine'” to a witness it has been in contact with. Prosecutors allege the incident happened on Oct. 21, 2021 after the embattled Rust armorer returned from her interview at the police station on the day of the fatal shooting.

Furthermore, prosecutors allege that the transfer of evidence “strongly support the charge that Hannah transferred the cocaine to avoid prosecution and prevent law enforcement from obtaining evidences directly related to Hannah’s handling of the firearm and the circumstances of the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins.”

In a statement to ET, Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer, Jason Bowles, questioned how prosecutors were able to get “a secret witness” to appear 20 months later.

“With no actual corroboration or evidence?  And the state won’t identify the person?” Bowles added. “This is a throwback to the secret, star chamber prosecutions in England in the 15th century that were abolished. Like everything else with the state’s case and investigation, it’s full of sound and fury, but signifying nothing.”

As for the identity of the witness, prosecutors are requesting that the court order Gutierrez-Reed, her attorney and their investigating team from releasing the identity of the witness, claiming the witness has concerns that they may be subject to harassment by the media if their identity is made public.

The witness also fears their statements and testimony will result in being “blacklisted” from the film industry for coming forward.

Gutierrez-Reed Pleads Not Guilty

She formally entered a not guilty plea on Aug. 9 2023 in the Santa Fe, New Mexico, First Judicial District Court. According to court documents, obtained by ET, Gutierrez-Reed waived arraignment and entered a written plea of not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence.

Furthermore, District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer said Gutierrez-Reed’s trial would begin on Dec. 6, 2023 with jury selection beginning the day prior.

Special Prosecutors to Present Case to Grand Jury 

Special prosecutors Kari T. Morrissey and Jason J. Lewis announced on Oct. 17, 2023 that they intend to present to a Santa Fe grand jury the Oct. 21, 2021 shooting incident involving Baldwin during the filming of Rust. The prosecutors say they’ll present the case within the next two months.

“After extensive investigation over the past several months, additional facts have come to light that we believe show Mr. Baldwin has criminal culpability in the death of Halyna Hutchins and the shooting of [director] Joel Souza,” Morrissey and Lewis said in a statement. “We believe the appropriate course of action is to permit a panel of New Mexico citizens to determine from here whether Mr. Baldwin should be held over for criminal trial.”

Baldwin has repeatedly insisted he did not pull the trigger on the prop gun.

Baldwin Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter

On Jan. 19, 2024, Baldwin was indicted with a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Hutchins by a grand jury.

“We look forward to our day in court,” Baldwin’s attorneys, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, told ET in a statement.

Attorney Gloria Allred also told ET in a statement, “Our clients have always sought the truth about what happened on the day that Halyna Hutchins was tragically shot and killed on October 21, 2021. They continue to seek the truth in our civil lawsuit for them and they also would like there to be accountability in the criminal justice system.”

“The grand jury has decided that there is sufficient evidence to indict Alec Baldwin on the charge of involuntary manslaughter,” Allred’s statement continued. “We are looking forward to the criminal trial which will determine if he should be convicted for the untimely death of Halyna, who was the daughter of our clients Olga Solovey and Anatolii Androsovych, the sister of Svetlana Zemko, and the co-worker of our client, Mamie Mitchell.”

If Baldwin is convicted, the actor would face up to 18 months in prison.

Baldwin Demands Speedy Trial 

According to court documents obtained by ET, Baldwin’s legal team emphasized their “demand for speedy trial, discovery and exculpatory information, notice of defense intent to call witnesses,” as outlined by the Sixth Amendment.

The docs state that Baldwin is seeking a speedy trial to “minimize public vilification and suspicion” and to “avoid the hazards of proving his innocence that often arise after a lengthy delay in prosecution.”

SAG-AFTRA Defends Baldwin 

Days after he was charged for a second time, the actors’ union Baldwin belongs to, SAG-AFTRA, released a statement in Baldwin’s defense saying it wasn’t his responsibility to know whether or not the gun he was holding was safe.

“To the extent that the charges filed on January 19 are based on an accusation of negligent use of a firearm predicated on this or any actor having a duty to inspect a firearm as part of its use, that is an incorrect assessment of the actual duties of an actor on set,” SAG-AFTRA expressed in their statement.

“An actor’s job is not to be a firearms or weapons expert,” the union continued. “Firearms are provided for use on set under the guidance of multiple expert professionals directly responsible for the safe and accurate operation of that firearm.”

Baldwin Pleads Not Guilty 

12 days after he was charged again, Baldwin pled not guilty as his legal team filed a waiver of arraignment, which means that the formal arraignment that had initially been slated for Feb. 1 in Santa Fe County, New Mexico’s First Judicial District Court will no longer occur.

ET has reached out to Baldwin’s legal team for comment.

Trial Date Canceled 

A judge reassignment occurred in the case on Feb. 6. The move triggered the First Judicial District Court to cancel an Aug. 6 jury selection date, thus canceling the trial date.

Gutierrez-Reed Found Guilty

The jury deliberated for mere hours before returning on March 6 with a guilty verdict.

The jury found the Rust armorer guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not guilty of tampering with evidence. The 26-year-old showed no emotion as the jury read the verdict. She was also calm when removing a necklace before being remanded into custody.

Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer argued his client should stay out of jail until the sentencing date, saying she had not violated any of her bail conditions. But the judge ruled against him, saying that she’s remanded Gutierrez-Reed into custody because she was convicted in a case involving a death.

“This is criminal negligence,” the judge added, “but it’s still death and so, deputies you are going to take her into custody.”

In a statement to ET, Gloria Allred and John Carpenter, the attorneys representing Hutchins’ parents, Olga Solovey and Anatolli Androsovych, and sister, Svetlana Zemkoand, reacted to the verdict in a statement to ET.

“Halyna’s parents and her sister have always wanted everyone who is responsible for Halyna’s death to be held accountable. Today was the first trial and conviction in the criminal justice process,” the statement read. “We are satisfied that the jury, based on the evidence, found Hannah Gutierrez-Reed guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for her part in the taking of Halyna’s life.”

“We look forward to the justice system continuing to make sure that everyone else who is responsible for Halyna’s death is required to face the legal consequences for their actions,” the statement concluded.

Gutierrez-Reed will be sentenced at a later date.

Gutierrez-Reed Asks For a New Trial 

On March 15, lawyers for Gutierrez-Reed filed an emergency motion for a new trial, arguing that the usage of “and/or” in the jury instruction when referring to whether she had loaded Alec Baldwin’s gun with live ammunition “and/or” that she failed to properly check the ammunition could have confused the jury. 

In court documents obtained by ET, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys — Jason Bowles and Monnica Barreras — cited a recent decision in State of New Mexico v. Taylor, in which the court reversed convictions of two defendants and “criticized the use of and/or in listing various acts the jury could find committed by the defendants.” Bowles and Barreras said the same language could have confused Gutierrez-Reed’s jurors, who ultimately returned a split verdict finding her guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not guilty of tampering with evidence charges. 

Her team asked for the court to vacate her conviction and order a new trial. They also ask that the armorer be released in the meantime. Additionally, the attorneys stated they are “virtually certain” that under the Taylor reasoning, her conviction will be reversed.

Gutierrez-Reed Sentenced

On April 15, a judge sentenced the 26-year-old to 18 months at a New Mexico Correctional Facility, noting that her “reckless” actions on set led directly to Hutchins’ death.

Gutierrez-Reed gave an emotional statement in court, saying she was disheartened by the way the media has portrayed her as a “monster” and offering her prayers to Hutchins’ family to find peace.

Prosecutors Want Gutierrez-Reed to Testify

Prosecutors in Baldwin‘s upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial want a judge to grant Rust armorer Gutierrez-Reed “use immunity” so she can testify.

According to court documents obtained by ET, the special prosecutors requested that the Santa Fe First Judicial District Court grant Gutierrez-Reed “use immunity” after she submitted to a pre-trial interview on May 14, “wherein she asserted her Fifth Amendment privilege to all substantive questions.”

Prosecutors argue that Baldwin’s legal team “presumably named Gutierrez as a witness so his counsel can obtain potentially exculpatory information from Ms. Gutierrez that is relevant to the issue of proximate cause.” The state goes on to argue that if Gutierrez-Reed is not granted use immunity, Baldwin’s team will likely attempt to have her previous statements admitted as exceptions to the rule against hearsay as statements, which requires Baldwin to demonstrate that Gutierrez is unavailable due to her assertion of her Fifth Amendment privilege.

The state’s requesting for a hearing to settle the matter before Baldwin’s case begins next month.

Prosecutors Allege Baldwin Was ‘Aggressive’ and ‘Erratic’

According to court documents obtained by ET on June 18, the special prosecutors in the case allege that the actor engaged in “horseplay” with a gun during training and allege that his nature during filming was “erratic and aggressive.”

Furthermore, they claim that Baldwin fired a blank round at a crew member while simultaneously using the crew member to establish a line of sight, and allege that the actor and producer insisted on not being held to industry safety standards when filming resumed months after the fatal shooting.

Baldwin is set to go on trial July 9 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


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