“No one is above the law” is what Halyna Hutchins’ family said after news emerged that Alec Baldwin would be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter after the death of the Ukrainian cinematographer on the set of the movie Rust in Santa Fe.
Baldwin fatally shot Hutchins and injured the film’s director Joel Souza after discharging a prop gun on the movie’s set in October 2022. So, what do these charges entail?
Alec Baldwin to be Charged with Two Counts of Involuntary Manslaughter
Aside from Baldwin, the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, will also receive a charge of two counts of involuntary manslaughter over Hutchins’ death.
This charge carries a maximum of 18 months in prison.
According to Irish Mirror, the first of the two charges is involuntary manslaughter, which needs proof of underlying negligence. It also includes the “misdemeanor charge” of negligent firearm use.
The second charge, alternatively, is involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, which needs proof that negligence wasn’t the only reason for the death.
Under the New Mexico law, the two charges are fourth-degree felonies and are punishable by up to 18 months in jail, with a $5,000 fine.
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The second charge also includes a firearm enhancement or is added with a mandatory penalty, making the crime punishable by mandatory five years imprisonment.
Halyna Hutchins’ Family Reacts to Alec Baldwin’s Charges
Brian Panish, the attorney of Hutchins’ husband Matt, thanked the Santa Fe Sheriff and the District Attorney for completing the thorough investigation and “determining that charges of involuntary manslaughter are warranted for the killing” of Hutchins, giving human life consideration.
"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,” Panish said. “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."
On the other hand, attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies explained the reason behind Baldwin’s charges.
"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,” she said. "On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice."
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