Alec Baldwin Officially Charged in 'Rust' Shooting

New Mexico prosecutors formally filed charges against Alec Baldwin in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins while rehearsing a scene for the movie Rust in 2021. Baldwin and armorer Hannah Guttierez-Reed were charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, each. After Santa Fe First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor, Andrea Reeb announced plans to charge Baldwin earlier this month, his attorney called the charges a "terrible miscarriage of justice."

The charges against Baldwin were filed on Tuesday, reports KOAT. Carmak-Altwies and Reeb announced the changes on Jan. 19. First assistant director David Halls pleaded guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon in the shooting, and prosecutors plan to release the terms of Halls' plea deal at a later date. "The District Attorney and the special prosecutor are fully focused on securing justice for Halyna Hutchins," First Judicial District Attorney's Office spokesperson Heather Brewer said in a statement on Monday. "The evidence and the facts speak for themselves." 

The shooting happened at Bonanza Creek Ranch on Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin was rehearsing a scene for the independent Western film Rust with a Colt .45 revolver when a live round was discharged from the weapon. Hutchins, 42, was fatally shot and died. Director Joel Souza was also injured in the accident. 

The first involuntary manslaughter charge is linked to negligence and is a fourth-degree felony. Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed face up to 18 months n jail and a $5,000 fine if conflicted. The second charge alleges negligence, which could come with a mandatory five-year sentence because the alleged crime was committed with a gun. The defendants can make their court appearances remotely.

"This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins' tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice," Baldwin's lawyer, Luke Nikas, said in a statement on Jan. 19. "Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win."

Lawyers for Gutierrez-Reed also said their client is innocent. "These charges are the result of a very flawed investigation, and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts," they said, reports PEOPLE. "We intend to bring the full truth to light and believe Hannah will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury."

In addition to the criminal charges, there are multiple lawsuits involving Hutchins' death. Gutierrez-Reed blamed Baldwin, accusing him of ignoring her weapons training session, notes Variety. Baldwin filed a countersuit against her, alleging she failed to realize there was a live round in the weapon. There are five civil suits, which might be on hold as the criminal case unfolds.

"We want to thank the Santa Fe Sheriff and the District Attorney for concluding their thorough investigation and determining that charges for involuntary manslaughter are warranted for the killing of Halyna Hutchins with conscious disregard for human life," Hutchins' family's attorney, Brian J. Panish, said in a statement earlier this month. "Our independent investigation also supports charges are warranted. It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law. We support the charges, will fully cooperate with this prosecution, and fervently hope the justice system works to protect the public and hold accountable those who break the law."