New Mexico prosecutors acknowledged Thursday they struggled over whether or not to cost actor Alec Baldwin and weapons handler Hannah Gutierrez Reed with involuntary manslaughter, a felony, however stated they felt an obligation to the slain cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
“To be very honest, we wrestled with charging anyone,” New Mexico’s First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies stated in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “This is a very complicated case [and] there were three people that we believe were potentially culpable for firing the weapon.”
Those three — Baldwin, Gutierrez Reed and David Halls, the assistant director — all confronted felony costs within the demise of Hutchins, she stated.
But Halls, who was the on-set security coordinator, cooperated with prosecutors and accepted a plea for a misdemeanor cost — negligent use of a firearm.
Carmack-Altwies stated Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed can be formally charged by the tip of January. Should the case go to trial, a jury will resolve whether or not jail time is warranted.
Many in Hollywood felt that Baldwin would escape critical costs. They argued that he was, in any case, the actor on the set and never the weapons professional. Baldwin protested in a number of interviews, saying that he was counting on professionals — Gutierrez Reed and Halls — to do their jobs. The movie’s director, Joel Souza, was additionally injured within the Oct. 21, 2021 capturing.
But Baldwin’s celeb didn’t spare him from the manslaughter costs — one which carries a compulsory five-year sentence, ought to he be convicted.
“We have a belief that everybody should be equally held accountable under the law,” stated veteran prosecutor Andrea Reeb, who was tapped final summer season because the particular prosecutor.
Reeb, a Republican, retired from her function as district lawyer and was elected as a consultant in New Mexico’s legistature, representing the sixty fourth district, in November. Carmack-Altwies is a Democratic district lawyer in Santa Fe.
The following interview with Carmack-Altwies and Reeb has been edited for brevity and readability.
Baldwin has maintained that he relied on different professionals to do their jobs and test the gun. Why did you cost him?
“He absolutely had a duty to either check the weapon himself or have someone to check in front of him,” Carmack-Altwies stated. “We’ve spoken with several actors, A-list and less than A-list, and all have confirmed that when you are handed a gun, you need to look at it and make sure that it’s safe.
“Not only that, but just when anyone is handed a gun you need to make sure that you are not pointing it or pulling the trigger at anyone or anything that you’re not willing to shoot. He didn’t take those basic safety recommendations and procedures and protocols into account. We had to wrestle with the law and what our case law says here in New Mexico, but we didn’t have to wrestle with whether he, Hannah and David were culpable for this homicide.”
This case includes a Hollywood A-list star. How did that issue into your choices?
“Whether you’re an A-list actor [or not], our goal here is to treat everybody equally, and to get justice for the victim, Halyna Hutchins, and also to really look at these film sets in New Mexico. Are they safe? And are things being done right? And clearly, they weren’t on this [film],” stated Reeb, who was elected to the New Mexico legislature in November. “This tragedy could have been avoided very easily. But no, as far as being an A-list actor and having notoriety or popularity, he is just another defendant to us under the law.”
The assistant director Dave Halls accepted a plea deal. How did that come about?
“Dave Halls approached us and was cooperative with our investigation,” Carmack-Altwies stated. “ When he came in we had a very frank and honest discussion. We felt like … he was still culpable, but he was the least culpable. So based on his cooperation, based on who we thought had the the most rigorous duties to uphold safety, we felt like Miss Gutierrez Reed and Mr. Baldwin were the ones that absolutely were the most culpable. As part of his plea deal, he will be testifying or cooperating with the prosecution.”
There remains to be the excellent query of how did the reside bullets get on set. Does not realizing the reply weaken your case?
“Everybody seems to want to know where the live rounds came from and we’ve definitely interviewed everybody trying to answer that question,” Reeb stated. “But when it came down to whether it really matters, I mean, there were six live rounds found in various places on this movie set, which is obviously very concerning.”
“But the armorer should have caught those live rounds on set and so our bigger concern is why didn’t Hannah Gutierrez Reed catch these these live rounds on set — not so much on how they got on there. That may be a question that never gets answered.”
No one right here supposed to trigger hurt. So how do you sq. that with these costs?
“We’re in no way saying this is an intentional homicide or act,” Reeb stated. “We have [in New Mexico] involuntary manslaughter which is a different standard. It’s that they were more than negligent, maybe reckless. And so that’s the standard we have to get to in order to prove his case.
“We’re confident that with the facts that we have, we can show that Alec Baldwin and and Hannah Gutierrez Reed were more than merely negligent, and definitely reckless. Had it not been for them not doing their jobs in this case Halyna Hutchins would never have been killed.”
“Everyone agrees that this was accidental, but it was recklessly accidental,” stated Carmack-Altwies. “Somebody should have caught this and they didn’t and that’s where the criminality comes in.”
This case is so high-profile. How have you ever managed to cope with the publicity and a spotlight?
“It was a surprise to me when this happened, and it was not something I expected to happen in my first time as district attorney,” Carmack-Altwies stated. “But what I really focused on is getting justice for Halyna Hutchins and treating everyone equally under the law. And so I tried to put everything else outside of my vision. That’s not what matters. I’m here to prosecute people for committing crimes and that’s what we are doing for Halyna Hutchins.”
Did politics play an element in your determination?
“I was elected district attorney since 2014. I just retired last year,” Reeb stated. “So the DA and I knew each other and she knew my work and we’ve talked about this case prior to me even deciding to run for election. So there’s really no politics in it. I’m still a prosecutor.
“It comes back to what I care about, whether to bring justice to our victims in this case, and also really look at these film sets and make sure that we have adequate safety measures so that this type of thing doesn’t happen.”