New Mexico law will NOT allow Alec Baldwin to be charged with shooting 'Rust' director Joel Souza

New Mexico law will NOT allow Alec Baldwin to be charged with shooting 'Rust' director Joel Souza
Alec Baldwin (L) will not be charged for shooting 'Rust' director Joel Souza (R)(Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images, YouTube/Access Hollywood)

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO: Actor Alec Baldwin will not be charged for the shooting of 'Rust' director Joel Souza as there is no "unintentional battery" charge that would apply, according to the New Mexico District Attorney. Baldwin was charged with "involuntary manslaughter" for fatally shooting cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. However, despite the fact that Souza was also injured by the same bullet, the 64-year-old was not charged with it as a battery generally required intention and the prosecutors said that he had no intention to fire the bullet. 

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After getting shot on the set of Rust in October 2021, Souza was taken to the hospital for emergency treatment. Recently it was reported that the filming is due to resume and Souza will return to the role of director. The Sante Fe District Attorney's office is also seeking the involuntary manslaughter charge for the armorer on set, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. The incident took place while filming their Western movie on the outskirts of Santa Fe when Alec Baldwin accidentally shot Halyna Hutchins and director Souza.

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A  round from the revolver pierced Souza's shoulder and went directly into Hutchins' chest while Baldwin had been practicing drawing his gun from his holster. During an interview with police, Baldwin repeatedly insisted that he had been told the gun was "cold" when it was given to him and alleged that he did not pull the trigger. "We've done this for two weeks and we've done it the right way every day. Right before you shoot. I went to lunch", he said according to Daily Mail. "She disarmed me - Hannah - she always handled the gun. I come back, they hand me the revolver - Hannah - they arm me. You're assuming it's a cold gun. I put the gag in the shot. I take the gun out, as it clears - I turn and cock the gun and the gun goes off. It's supposed to be a cold gun. Bang, she [Hutchins] hits the ground. [Joel Souza] goes down, screaming going 'Jesus Christ!"

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Hannah Gutierrez-Reed (Voices of The West/Facebook)
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed (Voices of The West/Facebook)

Baldwin termed the charges, a "terrible miscarriage of justice." Both Gutierrez-Reed and Baldown can face maximum months of 18 months in prison if they are convicted of "involuntary manslaughter." They'll face a mandatory five-year prison sentence if they're also convicted of a firearm enhancement on that charge. 

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"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," Baldwin's attorney said in a statement. However, Mary Carmack-Altwies, the First Judicial District Attorney in New Mexico, is sticking to her decision as she said Baldwin did pull the trigger in an interview with CNN and that he ran a "fast and loose set" that was plagued with safety issues. 



 

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"There was such a lack of safety and safety standards on that set. There were live rounds on set, they were mixed in with dummy rounds. Nobody was checking those or at least they weren't checking them consistently," Carmack-Altwies said. "They somehow got loaded into a gun, handed off to Alec Baldwin, he didn't check it, he didn't do what he was supposed to do to make sure he was safe or make sure anyone else was safe. He pointed the gun at Halyna Hutchins and he pulled the trigger."

She said a "totality of the circumstances" led to the decision, adding, "This was a really fast and loose set. And that nobody was doing their job." Carmack-Altwies said Baldwin "doesn't get a free pass" because he's a star, even though it may have been an accident. 

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