New Mexico prosecutors accused Alec Baldwin of lying about fatal shooting incident on 'Rust' film set

 April 13, 2024

Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin is set to face trial in July on a manslaughter charge in New Mexico over the 2021 shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the "Rust" Western film that Baldwin stars in and produced.

Ahead of that trial, prosecutors have accused Baldwin of lying about his actions during that fatal incident, of losing control of his emotions, and of putting other crew members in danger by hiring an inexperienced armorer and not paying attention to safety training, NBC News reported.

Baldwin accused by prosecutors of lying about what happened

Attorneys for Baldwin, who pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter charge in January, recently filed a motion for the charge to be dismissed because prosecutors were "unfairly stacking the deck" against him with the testimony of other crew members and witnesses.

In response, prosecutors submitted a filing last week that accused Baldwin of lying about what occurred and other inappropriate actions in the lead up to the deadly shooting that happened while the actor was rehearsing a scene in which he unholstered a prop revolver that was supposed to have been loaded with blanks but instead was loaded with at least one live round of ammunition.

"The defendant’s motion to dismiss is a predictably false, misleading and histrionic misrepresentation of the facts and circumstances of the history of the case," the prosecutors said. They further asserted that Baldwin had offered multiple contradictory accounts of what happened and wrote, "In sum, every time Mr. Baldwin spoke, a different version of events emerged from his mouth."

Prosecutors say Baldwin was emotionally unstable on set, was "inattentive" during safety training

Elsewhere in the new filing from the prosecutors, they accused Baldwin of being emotionally unstable on the "Rust" set and of "frequently screaming and cursing at himself, at crew members." They wrote, "To watch Mr. Baldwin’s conduct on the set of 'Rust' is to witness a man who has absolutely no control of his emotions and absolutely no concern for how his conduct effects those around him."

The prosecutors also criticized the experienced actor and producer for hiring an inexperienced rookie armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, to handle the weaponry for the film, and suggested that he "seems to have missed what everyone else noticed -- Hannah Gutierrez was not up to the job."

They further alleged that Baldwin showed up a week late for filming and missed the initial firearms safety training sessions that everybody else went through, then was "inattentive" and preoccupied with his phone during special individual training sessions.

Baldwin's production team settles lawsuit filed by on-set medic

Separately, The Blast reported that the "Rust" production team just reached a partial settlement to end a lawsuit filed against them by the on-set medic, Cherlyn Schaefer, who unsuccessfully attempted to save Hutchins' life after she was shot by Baldwin during a scene rehearsal.

Schaefer accused the production team of negligence and asserted that she had suffered emotional distress over what had occurred. The production team, however, countered that Schaefer hadn't witnessed the shooting, was not related to the victim, and "admitted she did not suffer any direct injuries, but only the physical manifestations of shock, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and emotional distress caused by the incident."

Yet, for unspecified reasons and an undisclosed amount, the suit was just partially settled with a court document that said the dispute had been "amicably resolved," thus rendering unnecessary a canceled court hearing that was scheduled for Friday.

"Swift" conviction of armorer could spell bad news for Baldwin

As for the armorer that Baldwin hired and has blamed for the fatal shooting, People magazine reported that she was found guilty in March of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Hutchins after just three hours of jury deliberation.

That "swift" judgment from the jury likely doesn't bode well for Baldwin, according to legal expert Emily Baker, who said, "The jurors in New Mexico that spoke to the media didn't hold back in saying people on set are responsible for what happened."

To be sure, Baldwin's attorneys will undoubtedly bring in experts to testify that gun safety rules are different on movie sets, though Baker said, "I don't know if a jury will buy it," and she noted that prosecutors will show evidence of Baldwin mishandling firearms on other occasions as well as submit forensic reports that prove the trigger on the revolver had to be pulled for the live round to be fired.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.