Charges against Alec Baldwin downgraded in 'Rust' shooting case
SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Prosecutors are downgrading charges filed against actor-producer Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in connection to the fatal “Rust” movie set shooting. According to newly filed court documents, Baldwin and Guiterrez-Reed will now only face an involuntary manslaughter charge without a firearm enhancement penalty.
If convicted, the now-dropped enhancement could have carried an additional five-year minimum prison sentence on top of the typical sentence. Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed now only face the standard penalty for involuntary manslaughter: up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
The filing comes just days before Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are required to attend a first hearing on Friday, Feb. 24. Both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are expected to attend the proceeding through a remote video link.
In another filing earlier this month, Baldwin’s defense argued that the firearm enhancement did not exist in state law when the shooting occurred in October 2021. The enhancement became law in May 2022. Following Baldwin’s initial filing, the Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altweis said her team was reviewing the claim.
Carmack-Altweis has handed prosecution of the case to former District Attorney Andrea Reeb. Baldwin’s defense is also challenging Reeb’s presence on the case, seeking to have her dismissed. A judge has yet to make a decision on that filing.
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are accused in the Oct. 21, 2021, shooting death of film cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. She was killed at the Bonzana Creek Ranch near Santa Fe after being shot by a gun Baldwin was handling during a rehearsal.
The film’s assistant director David Halls is also facing a charge in the case, but has agreed to a plea deal. He will face a judge during an in-person hearing on March 8, 2023. Halls handed the gun to Baldwin before the shooting.
Last week, the film’s production company reported it will restart work on “Rust” this spring with old and new crew members, including Baldwin. The company, Rust Movie Productions, also says it will work with another team that’s planning to release a documentary on the life of the film’s slain cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.