Whether a crime is done with purpose or not, the act itself still constitutes a criminal offense.
And that is the message that was sent by New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies as she was explaining why her office would seek manslaughter charges against Alec Baldwin, who plays the role of a producer and actor in the series Rust.
“Because they did not apply the appropriate level of care or circumspection, it occurred for reasons that go beyond simple negligence. This is exactly what transpired in this situation.”
Baldwin, who is 64 years old, and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who works as an armorer for Rust, will be prosecuted with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to a statement released on Thursday by Carmack-Altwies and Rust special prosecutor Andrea Reeb.
Live rounds on the set were interspersed with normal dummy rounds, according to Carmack-Altwies, who said that there was “nobody checking them” or at the very least that “they weren’t checking them regularly, after that, they were somehow placed into a gun, and Alec Baldwin was the recipient of the weapon.
He didn’t check it. He did not do any of the actions that were required of him in order to ensure his own safety or the safety of others who were in his immediate vicinity. After that, he aimed the weapon towards Halyna Hutchins, and then he pulled the trigger on the weapon.”
Luke Nikas, who represents Baldwin, claimed that the defendant “relied on the experts with whom he worked, who informed him the pistol did not hold live ammunition.”