Actor Alec Baldwin is facing involuntary manslaughter charges in connection to the death of a cinematographer on the set of his latest film, Rust.
Despite the charges, a source close to Baldwin has stated that the actor intends to continue with the production of the movie. The New Mexico prosecutor, Mary Carmack-Altwies, who is planning to charge Baldwin has requested $635,000 in “emergency” money “to prosecute such a high-profile case,” she wrote to state officials last August.
Carmack-Altwies plans to charge Baldwin and the film’s armorer with involuntary manslaughter, accusing them of failing to perform safety procedures that could have prevented the accident. Baldwin was holding the prop gun that discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set in October 2021. The trials of Baldwin and another person working on the movie Rust would each “take weeks to a month to complete” and require expert testimony.
If the case goes to trial, there are few precedents for a major star being charged in the shooting death of a colleague during production of a movie. The attention would likely be enormous, particularly since the shooting happened away from Hollywood. In the 1980s, director John Landis and four associates were acquitted of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two children during the filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie. The trial lasted for 10 months and gained global attention.
Baldwin has been a major film and TV star for decades, winning Emmys for TV’s 30 Rock and an Oscar nomination for The Cooler. He also starred in Working Girl, Beetlejuice and The Hunt for Red October, and on Broadway. In addition, he is known for publicly advocating for liberal political causes.
The charges will be formally filed by the end of the month, Carmack-Altwies has stated. Baldwin and armorer were both responsible, prosecutors say Alec and Gutierrez Reed will each face two counts of involuntary manslaughter, but each count carries a different level of punishment, Carmack-Altwies said when she announced the charges. A jury would decide which count would be more appropriate, and if convicted, they will only be sentenced to one count, the prosecutor said.