Alec Baldwin will face criminal charges in the tragic 2021 Rust film set shooting that claimed the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

Halyna, 42, was working as a cinematographer on the Western when she was shot and killed by the film’s star, Baldwin, during an accident while he was practicing using a Colt .45 revolver on set. 

Director Joel Souza was also injured in the shooting.

Santa Fe First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb announced their decision on Thursday (January 19) to charge the 64-year-old actor with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. 

“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 in a statement. “On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”

Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas wrote in a statement, “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. 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.”

Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter for the 2021 fatal shooting on the New Mexico set of the film.

Carmack-Altwies and Reeb will formally file charges before the end of the month, at which point each defendant will be issued a summons for their first court appearance, which can be done virtually or waived, prosecutors said. 

During a preliminary hearing, a judge will decide whether there is probable cause to move forward with a trial. 

Preliminary hearings are typically scheduled within 60 days of charges being filed, according to the district attorney’s office.

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Source: ABC News