It was just over a year ago when a firearm in the hands of actor and anti-gun activist Alec Baldwin was fired, killing Halyna Hutchins and injuring one other on the set of the movie Rust.
Over that time we’ve learned a lot, and little of it has been good news for the 30 Rock star. For example, we learned that no, there’s no way that particular pistol “just went off.”
He got some more bad news earlier this week, too. It seems investigators are wrapping up their investigation.
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office completed its investigation Thursday into the fatal “Rust” shooting that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead — and criminal charges against those involved, including Alec Baldwin, may be imminent.
“Today, District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies received the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s investigative report on the Rust movie set incident,” Heather Brewer, the spokesperson for Santa Fe’s top prosecutor, said in an email.
“The District Attorney and her 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.”
Brewer said the prosecutor’s focus will be “on upholding the integrity of the process, enforcing the laws of the state of New Mexico, and pursuing justice.”
Brewer could not provide a timeline on when Carmack-Altwies will have her decision ready but said there are no statutory deadlines in New Mexico that dictate how much time she has to press charges, beyond statutes of limitation.
While the announcement is short of details, Carmack-Altwies has been gearing up for a prosecution against someone with deep pockets. If it’s not Baldwin, it’s a mystery who that could be.
However, it also seems that Carmack-Altwies isn’t just focused on the high-profile A-lister. She also looks to potentially charge three others.
Yet no matter who else gets charged, Baldwin is going to be the headliner.
And frankly, it seems unlikely that he won’t be charged. No one disputes that the firearm was in his hands when the shot occurred. Even Baldwin has admitted publicly that it was.
What he’s claimed, though, is that the gun just fired, it went off suddenly and without any action on his part to cause it to do so. Yet an FBI team looking at the firearm in question said that simply couldn’t happen with that particular pistol. It wasn’t faulty or in some other state where it would just “go off” as Baldwin alleges.
So the idea that Baldwin won’t face charges while others do seems a little farfetched.
Yet the question now becomes who else faces charges. While armorer Hannah Guiterrez-Reed is a potential candidate, there’s also evidence that she simply wasn’t allowed to do her job in the first place. The state’s version of OSHA found evidence of that, which one would imagine might well impact any decision at prosecution.
However, as noted above, there’s no timeline for when charges will be formally filed. It seems clear someone’s getting prosecuted, though, which means we’ll get yet another high-profile trial to tear apart soon enough.