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New Mexico district attorney may charge Alec Baldwin in ‘Rust’ shooting

Sept. 26, 2022 Updated Mon., Sept. 26, 2022 at 8:30 p.m.

Alec Baldwin on the “Rust” set immediately following the shooting of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza.  (Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office/Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office/TNS)
Alec Baldwin on the “Rust” set immediately following the shooting of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza. (Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office/Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office/TNS)
By Anousha Sakoui Los Angeles Times

The New Mexico State district attorney could file criminal charges against four people, including actor Alec Baldwin, for the fatal shooting on the movie set of “Rust.”

In a recent letter to the state’s finance board, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said as many as four people could face criminal charges in connection with the accident last year that claimed the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

The letter, first reported by the Santa Fe New Mexican, indicated that her office is considering charges, including homicide as well as gun violations, against four individuals.

While Carmack-Altwies did not identify who might be charged, it indicated that one of the possible defendants could be Baldwin.

Baldwin’s phone, one of the outstanding pieces of evidence in the case, has been handed over to prosecutors, ABC News reported.

Representatives of the New Mexico district attorney’s office and Baldwin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Baldwin has repeatedly denied culpability in the shooting.

Next month will mark a year since the accident on the set of the low-budget Western, where questions remain about how a live round ended up on the production in violation of safety practices.

The state gave the district attorney’s office $317,000 for the appointment of a special prosecutor to oversee the case.

Last month, another piece of key evidence was delivered to police. A long-awaited FBI report, including an analysis of the weapon that Baldwin fired, concluded that the pistol “functioned normally when tested in the laboratory.”

The report noted that, in order for the replica Pietta Colt .45 to fire, the trigger needed to be pulled. Those results appeared to cast doubt on Baldwin statements late last year to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he did not pull the trigger.

However, an attorney for Baldwin, who was also a producer on the movie, said that the report’s conclusions had been “misconstrued.”

“The gun fired in testing only one time – without having to pull the trigger – when the hammer was pulled back and the gun broke in two different places,” said Luke Nikas, Baldwin’s attorney. “The FBI was unable to fire the gun in any prior test, even when pulling the trigger, because it was in such poor condition.”

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