Alec Baldwin May Face Criminal Charges

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It has been almost a year since the deadly shooting on set of the movie “Rust” that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Actor Alec Baldwin was holding a prop gun during a rehearsal, and he was aiming it directly at the camera. He has previously said that Hutchins directed him to point it at the camera. Unfortunately for everyone involved, especially Hutchins, the gun was loaded and somehow fired in Baldwin’s hand even though he did not pull the trigger.

The filming location was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, so that is where the investigation is happening. Mary Carmack-Altwies, the First Judicial District Attorney, has asked for $635,500 in additional funding to continue the investigation. During a New Mexico Board of Finance meeting that was held on September 20, Carmack-Altwies said, “It’s become apparent that we will be potentially charging between one and four people with criminal charges and each of those charges will probably include some variation of our homicide statute.” According to a letter to the board of finance from the district attorney’s office, Baldwin might be one of the defendants. In addition, the letter explained that there may be “up to four separate jury trials.”

Carmack-Altwies requested the additional funding because this complex and high-profile case is too much for her current staff to handle. She wants to hire “an almost full-time attorney and someone who is very experienced on complex cases and very experienced with litigation.” Some of the funding might also pay for support staff for the attorney including paralegals and experts who could assistant in the investigation, such as a professional armorer who has worked on movie sets.

In September, an autopsy report from New Mexico’s Office of the Medical Investigator concluded that Hutchins’ death was caused by an accidental shooting. Carmack-Altwies is waiting for additional reports “including, but not limited to, the following: FBI firearm and tool mark analyses, forensic testing on the firearm itself, the forensic download from Suffolk County PD of Mr. Baldwin’s phone, and the pathology report from the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator” before her office decides if they will be moving forward with charges and if so who will be charged.

In a statement, Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, made it clear that he doesn’t want anyone to jump to conclusions that Baldwin will be charged with anything. He explained, Some media reports today draw false conclusions based on a letter from the Santa Fe District Attorney. The DA has made clear that she has not received the sheriff’s report or made any decisions about who, if anyone, might be charged in this case.” He added, “And during my communications with the DA’s office just a few weeks ago, after the August 30 funding request was submitted, I was told that it would be premature to discuss the case because they had not yet reviewed the file or deliberated about their charging decision. It is irresponsible to report otherwise. The DA’s office must be given the space to review this matter without unfounded speculation and innuendo.”