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Investigation Into ‘Rust’ Shooting Completed, Forwarded To Prosecutors For Charges

Santa Fe, NM – The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office (SFCSO) has concluded its investigation into the fatal shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and forwarded two binders of information to the Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office.

SFCSO Spokesperson Juan Rios said the extensive investigation includes an outline of all the evidence collected in the case, including numerous interviews and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s forensic analysis of physical evidence, the Associated Press reported.

Rios said the department did not set forth any recommendations regarding the potential filing of criminal charges, the Associated Press reported.

Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed when the gun actor Alec Baldwin was holding on set on Oct. 21, 2021, discharged a live round, hitting her and Director Joel Souza.

Baldwin, the 64-year-old star and co-producer of the film, said he had “no idea” how the fatal incident occurred.

But according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) forensic report, the .45 Colt caliber F.lli Pietta single-action revolver Baldwin was holding at the time of the fatal shooting could not have fired without someone pulling the trigger, ABC News reported.

The First Judicial District Attorney’s Office confirmed it received the SFCSO’s completed investigative report on Thursday, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

“The District Attorney and her team of investigators and prosecutors will now begin a thorough review of the information and evidence to make a thoughtful, timely decision about whether to bring charges,” District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies’ spokesperson said in a statement.

“As with all cases that the District Attorney handles, her focus will be on upholding the integrity of the process, enforcing the laws of the state of New Mexico and pursuing justice,” the spokesperson added.

Carmack-Altwies requested $635,000 from the New Mexico Board of Finance on Aug. 30 for the purpose of prosecuting as many as four defendants with homicide and criminal charges in connection with Halyna Hutchins’ death, according to Deadline.

“[One] of the possible defendants is well known movie actor Alec Baldwin,” Carmack-Altwies said in the letter, according to the news outlet.

The board provided her with $317,000 to prosecute the case, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

Andrea Reeb, a former Clovis-area district attorney, has been named by Carmack-Altwies as special prosecutor in the case.

Carmack-Altwies said last month that her office is “looking at all the homicide statutes and any gun statues under New Mexico criminal code” when considering whether charges will be filed in this case, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

District Attorney’s Office Spokeswoman Heather Brewer declined to estimate how long it might take before charging decisions are made, but she noted that those answers will come “in a timely manner” after “a thorough and timely investigation,” according to the paper.

Halyna Hutchins’ family reached an undisclosed settlement with Baldwin and the “Rust” production company in connection with a wrongful death lawsuit last month.

Her husband, Matthew Hutchins, filed the lawsuit in Santa Fe in February, CNN reported.

The lawsuit accused Baldwin, the film’s producers, multiple crew members, and the movie’s production companies of violating a slew of industry standards that ultimately resulted in the 42-year-old cinematographer’s death.

In addition to the undisclosed settlement, Matthew Hutchins will take over as an executive producer on the “Rust” film, CNN reported.

“We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, for our wrongful death case against the producers of Rust, including Alec Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions, LLC,” Matthew Hutchins said in a statement. “As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed.”

“The filming of Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board in January 2023,” he continued. “I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin). All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”

Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, said in a statement that the process of reaching a settlement has been difficult, but that all parties wanted to ensure they were doing what was “best” for the Hutchins’ nine-year-old son, Andros, USA Today reported.

“We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation,” Nikas said.

Jason Bowles, the attorney representing the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, said his client is grateful that the settlement will benefit the Hutchins family, CNN reported.

“We are hopeful that the district attorneys office will also recognize that a measure of Justice has been achieved in regards to this tragic accident, and that they will opt not to pursue criminal charges,” Bowles added.

Carmack-Altwies quickly issued a statement saying that the settlement has nothing to do with whether criminal charges will be filed in connection with the fatal shooting, Reuters reported.

“If the facts and evidence warrant criminal charges under New Mexico law then charges will be brought,” Carmack-Altwies said. “No one is above the law.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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