Grand Jury Indicts Alec Baldwin in “Rust”

Prosecutors revive case against actor over fatal movie-set shooting

A video still from "Rust" filming showing Baldwin holding a gun is part of the evidence collected by investigators. (Courtesy Santa Fe County Sheriff)

A grand jury has indicted Alec Baldwin on charges in the Oct. 21, 2021 Rust movie-set shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

According to a Jan. 19 document special prosecutor Kerry T. Morrisey filed with the First Judicial District Court, the grand jury used testimony from seven witnesses to indict Baldwin on two fourth-degree felonies in Hutchins’ death: involuntary manslaughter with negligent use of a firearm; and involuntary manslaughter without due caution or circumspection.

District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies initially filed involuntary manslaughter charges against both Baldwin and the film’s former armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, in January 2023. Last April, the state formally dropped the charges against Baldwin, who both stars and is a producer in the film, noting “new facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis.” Morrisey then announced in October her intentions to refile charges against Baldwin. Gutierrez Reed’s trial is slated to begin Feb. 21

Baldwin’s attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro have argued that investigators essentially destroyed the gun during forensic analysis, among other objections to his prosecution.

“We look forward to our day in court,” they wrote in a statement to SFR on Friday.

Baldwin spoke with county sheriff’s deputies the day of the shooting, and said he did not intentionally discharge the gun that had been used as a prop inside a building on the Bonanza Creek Ranch. Investigators say live ammunition had been loaded into the Colt revolver along with blanks.

The new indictment lists as witnesses Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Detective Alexandria Hancock; Bryan Carpenter, a weapons specialist tapped by prosecutors to serve as an expert witness in earlier proceedings; Lane Luper, a first camera assistant on the film who says he quit the production the day before the fatal shooting safety concerns; Ross Addegio, one of three crew members who were near Baldwin when he fired the gun and who sued the Rust Production company; Michael Haag, a forensics consultant who worked on a report for prosecutors last year; Marissa Poppell, a crime scene technician who analyzed ammunition found on the set; and Connor Rice, who also testified in a case against “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.

Last year, a District Court judge approved a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Hutchins’ family against a list of producers including Baldwin. Assistant Director David Halls pleaded no contest to negligent use of a deadly weapon under a plea agreement. Immediately before the shooting, Halls is alleged to have handed the gun to Baldwin while he said “cold gun,” an industry term indicating it contained no ammunition.

Film production for Rust resumed last year in Montana, with Matthew Hutchins, husband of the late cinematographer, serving as producer. Baldwin posted on Instagram in May that he had wrapped his time on the set.

Read all of SFR’s Rust coverage here.

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