Alec Baldwin charged with involuntary manslaughter in Rust shooting

Alec Baldwin was on the phone during firearms training for a movie where he fatally shot a cinematographer on set, prosecutors said, as they charged him with involuntary manslaughter, the BBC reports.

Santa Fe’s District Attorney’s Office accused the actor of “many instances of extremely reckless acts”.

Halyna Hutchins died on the set of Rust in New Mexico after Mr Baldwin allegedly fired a prop gun.

The film’s armourer has also been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The documents released on Tuesday detailing the charges – first announced on 19 January – portray a chaotic set with a reckless approach to gun safety.

Mr Baldwin was “distracted” talking to family members on his mobile phone during training on how to operate the prop gun, Robert Shilling, a special investigator for the district attorney’s office, wrote in a statement of probable cause filed with the manslaughter charges.

If Mr Baldwin had performed mandatory safety checks with armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and not pointed the gun at Hutchins, the “tragedy would not have occurred”, Mr Shilling argued.

“This reckless deviation from known standards and practice and protocol directly caused the fatal shooting,” he said.

“Baldwin knew the first rule of gun safety is never point a gun at someone you don’t intend on shooting,” Mr Shilling added.

The charging document outlines at least a dozen “acts or omissions of recklessness” leading up to the shooting, including:

  • Not using a replica firearm for an unscheduled rehearsal
  • Letting the armourer leave the set against protocol
  • Deviating from the practice of only receiving the gun from the armourer
  • Not dealing with safety complaints on set
  • Not performing required safety checks with the armourer, who was hired without adequate certification

Lawyers for Mr Baldwin and Ms Gutierrez-Reed have said they intend to fight the charges in court.

If found guilty, Mr Baldwin and Ms Gutierrez-Reed could face up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 (£4,050) fine. They will be tried by a jury, according to prosecutors.

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