(People) Alec Baldwin, the producer and star of Rust, will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the October 2021 on-set death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
On Thursday, Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb announced that Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will both be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. No charges will be filed related to the shooting of Rust director Joel Souza, who was injured in the incident. The charges will be formally filed before the end of the month.
Assistant director David Halls signed a plea agreement for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, according to a press release.
“After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the Rust film crew,” Carmack-Altwies said in a statement. “On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”
Reeb added, “If any one of these three people — Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed or David Halls — had done their job, Halyna Hutchins would be alive today. It’s that simple. The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the Rust film set. In New Mexico, there is no room for film sets that don’t take our state’s commitment to gun safety and public safety seriously.”
Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE Thursday, “This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice. 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,” added Nikas.
Jason Bowles and Todd J. Bullion, attorneys for Gutierrez-Reed, said in a statement, “Hannah is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident. But she did not commit involuntary manslaughter. These charges are the result of a very flawed investigation, and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts. We intend to bring the full truth to light and believe Hannah will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury.”
In New Mexico, involuntary manslaughter is a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine, according to a press release. The other involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act charge is also a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and up to a $5000 fine; since a firearm was involved, this is punishable by a mandatory five years in jail.
The sheriff’s office handed over their completed investigation report to the DA’s office on Oct. 27. In a statement at the time, a spokesperson said the DA and a “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,” per The New York Times.
A redacted version of the report was released publicly in November, according to local Albuquerque outlet KRQE News.