Rust: DA says Alec Baldwin was ‘distracted’ in cell during weapons training

The New Mexico district attorney has detailed the state’s involuntary manslaughter cases against Baldwin and Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.

When Alec Baldwin was formally charged with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal “rust” case on Tuesday, New Mexico prosecutors said the actor was “distracted” and talking to his family on his cellphone during mandatory firearms training.

In a probable cause statement publicly released by the New Mexico District Attorney’s Office, prosecutors charged Baldwin as both an actor and producer of the film, saying he was “reckless” in deviating from standard practice regarding firearm safety on set and not receiving it. proper firearms training.

The DA cites OSHA’s statements, OSHA’s statement and the statement of Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed that Baldwin’s training was “very limited”: He was scheduled to receive an hour of training that showed him how to make the crosscut required for “rusting” . ” scene and the loading and unloading of the weapon. Via the document, Reed said Baldwin’s actual workout only lasted 30 minutes because “Baldwin was distracted and on his cell phone talking to his family during the workout.”

“The evidence shows that Baldwin failed to attend mandatory firearms and firearms safety training prior to the shooting. The evidence also shows that Baldwin requested and received on-the-job training… The on-site and limited time of the training does not meet industry standards, and the evidence shows that Baldwin was able to direct, supervise, initiate and demand safety. training according to industry standards. Baldwin’s failure to ensure compliance with minimum standards is considered reckless in the industry,” the statement reads in part. “This reckless departure from known standards, practice and protocol directly caused the fatal shooting.”

Prosecutors also say Baldwin should have known to never point the gun directly at others, even when instructed to do so, and should not have put his finger on the trigger. In the end, as a producer and actor well versed in the weapons of past films, he should have known better.

“Baldwin’s departure from known standards, practice and protocol directly caused Hutchins’ death. By failing to receive the required firearms training, failing to check the firearm with the armorer, allowing the firearm to be left in the church without the armorer present, deviating from the practice of only taking the firearm from the armorer, not attending to the with security complaints. set up and/or arrange for safety meetings to be held, placing his finger on the trigger of a real firearm when a replica or rubber pistol should have been used, pointing a firearm at Hutchins and Souza, and carelessly handling a firearm. Baldwin with willful disregard for the safety of others and in a manner that endangers other people, particularly Hutchins and Souza,” the statement said. “Baldwin clearly should have been aware of the dangerous nature of his actions that led to Hutchins’ death.”

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are each charged with two counts of murder. One arises from underlying negligence and the other from “statutory manslaughter” which requires proof of more than simple negligence in the death. Under New Mexico law, each is a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine — but the charges also include the enhancement of a firearm, which carries a mandatory sentence of five years in prison.

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO - OCTOBER 22: A sign directs people to the road leading to Bonanza Creek Ranch, where the movie "Rust" Filming will begin on October 22, 2021 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died while shooting the film, and Joel Souza was injured. "Rust" October 21, 2021 at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The film's star and producer, Alec Baldwin, fired a prop gun that hit Hutchins and Souza.  (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

“Rust” kit

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Baldwin, who believed he was holding a “cold gun,” stated that he did not pull the trigger on the gun before it fired. He said he only pulled back the gun’s hammer, and in April, his attorney claimed in a statement that he was “exonerated” based on an OHSB report that imposed the maximum fine on Rust Movie Prods., LLC for firearms negligence. safety.

However, one FBI report he claimed the gun could not have been fired without pulling the trigger. The prosecutor’s statement cites the FBI’s investigation and says the gun did not malfunction or accidentally fire and the trigger had to be pulled. The document also includes photo and video evidence showing that Baldwin’s finger was inside the trigger guard and on the trigger as he drew, pointed and holstered the revolver.

Attorneys for Baldwin did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney says the prosecution’s alleged deposition against him reveals that the prosecutor “misunderstood the facts and reached the wrong conclusions,” adding that Gutierrez-Reed “begged” for more firearms training but was denied.

“Hannah asked for security reasons to be able to perform her armored duties better. The production told him to focus on props. Hannah asked the Halls if they could make a plastic gun for the test scene and he said no because he wanted a “real gun”. Hannah asked to be called back to the church if Baldwin wanted to use the gun at all, but Halls did not,” Jason Bowles and Todd Bullion said in a statement. “However, the district attorney sentenced Halls to 6 months probation and charged Hannah and Baldwin with serious crimes that carry a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison. The tragedy of this is that if Hanna had been called back to the church by Halls, she would have done the inspection and prevented this tragedy. We will fight these charges and expect a jury to find Hannah guilty.”

The formal prosecution comes more than a year after the Oct. 21, 2021, fatal accident on the set of the independent western “Rust,” in which star and producer Baldwin was holding a gun that discharged while containing a live bullet, killing Hutchins and injuring . Rust is directed by Joel Souza. Hutchins wanted to set up a camera angle and ordered Baldwin to remove the gun from its holster while pointing it at the camera, at which point it fired, striking Hutchins in the torso.

The tragic accident led to months of finger-pointing, accusations, civil lawsuits, and even conspiracy theories from many members of the production, as well as gun safety on film sets.

A key unanswered question is how the live bullets got to the “rust” cluster.

Since prosecutors announced on January 19 that they would file formal charges, people across Hollywood like SAG-AFTRA have defended Baldwin, saying the actor should not be held responsible for the safe handling of firearms on set. Others have he pointed with his finger of the film’s other producers, who have not been charged with any criminal liability for promoting an unsafe work environment.

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