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A New Mexico prosecutor will announce a decision on Thursday over whether to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and others for their roles in the fatal shooting on the set of Rust in October 2021.
Mary Carmack-Altwies, the First Judicial District Attorney, and a special prosecutor brought on to handle the case will announce their decision in a written statement at 9 a.m. Mountain Time, according to a statement from the office.
“Regardless of the District Attorney’s decision, the announcement will be a solemn occasion, made in a manner keeping with the office’s commitment to upholding the integrity of the judicial process and respecting the victim’s family,” said Heather Brewer, spokesperson for the office of the First Judicial District Attorney.
The decision will come more than a year after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed when Baldwin shot a Colt .45 with a live round in her direction. Director Joel Souza was also injured.
Baldwin has maintained his innocence. He’s stressed that assistant director Dave Halls told him the firearm was “cold,” meaning it didn’t have a live round, and that armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed said she loaded the gun with a dummy round. In a lawsuit against the actor by script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, her attorney has blamed Baldwin for the shooting because that scene didn’t call for a firearm to be discharged.
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office in October passed along its investigation into the shooting for the district attorney’s office to make a charging decision. Carmack-Altwies requested funding a month prior before she received the report for emergency funding of $635,000 to continue her investigation into the shooting. She disclosed that she could charge up to four people, including Baldwin, and that there could be four separate jury trials required.
Rust Movie Productions has been charged by state safety officials for safety violations on the set of the movie. A report from the agency revealed that there were two previous incidents in which firearms accidentally went off. The first misfire, which happened Oct. 16, less than a week before the fatal shooting, occurred when props master Sarah Zachary inadvertently fired a blank round as she finished loading a 0.45 caliber revolver that was aimed at the ground. The second involved the stunt double for Baldwin, who said the gun “just went off.”
Hutchins’ family in October settled a wrongful death suit it had filed over the shooting. Under the deal, production of the film would resume with Halyna’s husband, Matthew Hutchins, as an executive producer and continue with “all the original principal players on board.” Further details of the settlement weren’t disclosed.
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