Alec Baldwin film set shooting: Court proceedings

The film industry’s arms overseer appeared in formal court for the first time on Friday in a felony charge in which actor Alec Baldwin shot and killed a cinematographer on the set of a western movie.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys said his client would plead not guilty, but the judge did not accept that plea during virtual court proceedings. issued a release condition allowing him to keep his gun in his home.

Gutierrez-Reid and Baldwin were charged last month with felony manslaughter in the shooting death of cinematographer Halina Hutchins, who died shortly after being injured during a rehearsal at a ranch outside Santa Fe in October 2021.

Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney told the judge that his client had received numerous threats and was forced to apply for a restraining order against the stalker. He said authorities released documents related to the incident and did not redact identifying information, including phone numbers.

District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwis told the judge she adamantly opposed the request because of Gutierrez-Reed’s “sloppy firearms and poor handling of guns” on set. , suggested Gutierrez Reed could instead move or leave bats and pepper spray at home.

Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, disputed the characterization of the district attorney and disputed the allegations of sloppiness.

“There are no allegations that she is a danger to anyone with a firearm in her home. Because of the steps the state has taken in releasing personal information, it is for self-defense. That is the reason for the request.” is,” he said.

In addition to allowing Gutierrez Reed to carry a gun in her home, the judge ordered her not to contact any witnesses who might testify as part of the case.

Baldwin filed a plea of ​​not guilty the day before, agreeing to waive a hearing to have his rights explained.

A judge allowed Baldwin to limit contact with potential witnesses in connection with his plans to complete filming of “Rust.” Other provisions included a ban on drinking alcohol and a ban on possession of weapons, including firearms.

Work on “Rust” was interrupted by Hutchins’ death. According to Rust Movie Productions, filming is set to resume this spring without the use of actual weapons and ammunition.

Separately on Friday, the “Rust” producer agreed to pay a $100,000 fine related to allegations of workplace safety violations in a settlement with New Mexico’s occupational safety regulator.

The proposed settlement would reduce the alleged safety violation from the “willful serious” to “serious” category, and Rust Movie Productions would “provide a workplace free of risk that employees could be terminated.” There was no,” he said. A bullet or projectile when a firearm is used on the set of a film production. ”

In April 2020, the New Mexico Department of Occupational Safety and Health fined Rust Movie Productions up to $136,793 for distributing scathing descriptions of safety failures that violated standard industry protocols. Set before the deadly shot.

The agency also documented gun safety complaints from crew members being ignored, and said weapons experts were not authorized to make decisions about additional safety training.

Melina Spadone, an attorney at Rust Movie Productions, said in a statement Friday that the settlement would help filmmakers resume work on “Rust.”

“Our top priority has always been to resume production and complete this film to honor the life and work of Halina Hutchins.

Manslaughter charges against “Rust” lead actor and co-producer Baldwin and film armor Gutierrez Reed carry a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine under New Mexico state law.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys are gearing up for a preliminary hearing, which could take place in the coming months, to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.

Officials said Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun fired, killing her and injuring director Joel Souza.

Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, said the charges were “a gross miscarriage of justice” when they were announced. There was no reason,” he said.

Bowles said the indictment was the result of “a highly flawed investigation and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts”. He believes a jury will acquit his client.

Prosecutors found assistant director David Halls, who oversaw safety on set, guilty of negligent use of a lethal weapon, explaining he may have mishandled the gun before handing it over to Baldwin. He said he had signed a contract acknowledging the

A judge is expected to consider approving the plea bargain in March. Halls waived his first court appearance.


This version corrects Gutierrez-Reed’s failure to file a petition during court proceedings. Her attorney said she would plead not guilty. But a judge didn’t honor her plea on Friday.


Montoya Bryan reported from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her Morgan Lee, Associate Press writer, contributed from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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