Alec Baldwin Faces Formal Charges, Prison Time
Alec Baldwin is facing jail time for his role in the shooting incident on the set of Rust.
Alec Baldwin is facing formal charges with potential prison time following a recent development in the ongoing case regarding Rust shooting incident in 2021. The on-set incident led to the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins as well as the wounding of director Joel Souza, due to a weapon used for the film which was not properly inspected. Deadline reports that the 30 Rock star did not follow proper safety procedures and will be tried for two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the state of New Mexico.
The District Attorney of Santa Fe has filed charges against Alec Baldwin as well as the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was responsible for handling all guns used on the set. The charges allege that Baldwin committed acts of criminal negligence as a producer of the film by not ensuring Gutierrez-Reed maintain a higher level of firearm safety, and by pointing the gun at the cinematographer and director.
As almost any firearms handler will tell you, the very first rule of any and all weapons is to never point them at a person, even if you believe the weapon to be inactive or unloaded.
Though the Rust shooting incident is tragic, film fanatics can take solace in the fact that the incident is being taken very seriously, and that incidents such as this one have become few and far between due to stringent safety regulations provided on most sets. This Alec Baldwin story caused many fans to recall one of the most famous shooting incidents on a film set of all time when 28-year-old Brandon Lee was shot and killed while filming the 1994 film The Crow.
At this time, it is unclear how Alec Baldwin will fair against these charges. On one hand, it seems irrefutable that his actions led to the fatal event, leading to the death of Halyna Hutchins. On the other hand, Baldwin is likely to be found guilty only if the burden of proof can be placed entirely on his shoulders. That seems unlikely considering Rust’s first assistant director has already pled guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon due to his handling of the weapon before handing it off to Alec Baldwin.
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will not be arrested and contained during the trial, and both parties have agreed to be served summonses and appear in court. The pair each face charges that include a punishment of over five years in prison. With Alec Baldwin planning to return to film the final scenes of the movie, this leaves the future of the film in question.
Many fans had questioned if they would be able to watch the Alec Baldwin-led western in the first place after knowing the tragic backstory behind the scenes. Droves of people online have commented that it will be difficult to see the film as a Hollywood product and not as a film whose themes and messages are completely overshadowed by the controversy behind the scenes.
Now with the tragedy and the court case looming over the production, it’s hard to know for sure what the studio plans to do with the unfinished film.