Alec Baldwin will make his first US court appearance in the death of Halyna Hutchins on February 24.
The Hollywood actor faces two counts of manslaughter stemming from the incident on the set of the movie Rust in October 2021.
He was indicted for the crimes by the Santa Fe District Attorney’s office Tuesday, along with the film’s gunsmith, Hannah Gutierrez Reed.
In a probable cause statement filed with the charges, the prosecutor asserted that Baldwin’s “reckless departure from known standards, practices, and protocols” directly caused the fatal shooting.
Baldwin will appear in Santa Fe Magistrate Court on February 24 at 10 am local time for the arraignment hearing.
The PA news agency understands that the hearing is likely to be virtual.
In his report, the prosecutor alleged that the actor had shown “willful disregard” for the safety of others in the days leading up to the incident and was not present for “mandatory” firearms training.
Instead, he underwent a 30-minute session on set, during which he was distracted by a phone call to his family, the prosecutor said.
The statement added that on the day of the shooting, there had been “no less than a dozen reckless acts or omissions” on set in the period before the incident.
“The evidence and statements documented in this affidavit confirm many instances of Baldwin’s extremely reckless acts or reckless failures within a 10-day period,” the statement read.
“The evidence clearly shows that Baldwin, in his position as actor or producer, did not address any of the incidents or issues to mitigate future reckless occurrences, correct reckless behavior, or correct training deficiencies.
“Baldwin’s deviation from known standards, practices and protocols directly caused Hutchins’ fatal death.”
Both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be “alternately charged” with the two counts of manslaughter, meaning a jury would decide not just whether they were guilty, but under what definition of manslaughter they were guilty, the prosecutor’s office previously said. . .
The first charge may be termed manslaughter and requires proof of underlying negligence.
This charge also includes the misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a firearm, which would likely be merged as a matter of law.
The second charge is manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, which requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in a death.
Under New Mexico law, both charges are a fourth-degree felony and are punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 (£4,000) fine.
The second charge includes a firearm enhancement, or additional mandatory penalty, which makes the offense punishable by a mandatory five years in jail.