Assistant Director of “Rust” Sentenced in Fatal Shooting Case Involving Alec Baldwin
David Halls, the assistant director of the movie “Rust,” was sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation, a $500 fine, and 24 hours of community service on Friday after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. This charge was brought against him for his role in the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the low-budget western in October 2021. Halls was convicted of one count of negligent use of a deadly weapon, as he failed to check for live bullets before handing Alec Baldwin the gun that led to Hutchins' death.
Baldwin, who has already pleaded not guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter, stated that Halls handed him the gun and said “cold gun,” meaning that it did not contain any blank rounds. Halls, however, testified that Gutierrez-Reed was the one who handled the gun and that he never said “cold gun.” The nature of Halls' involvement remains disputed, but he checked the weapon before handing it to Baldwin.
Meanwhile, Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was responsible for firearms safety and training, was also charged with involuntary manslaughter and pleaded not guilty. If found guilty, Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed face sentences of up to 18 months in prison and fines. The preliminary hearing for Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed is scheduled to begin on May 3.
There were also labor tensions on set, as the camera crew walked off the production a day before the tragedy due to safety concerns, among other issues. The prosecutor added that before the fatal shooting, there were two incidents where weapons were discharged, and the camera crew walked off the set partially due to safety concerns.
Halls' lawyer, Robert Torraco, stated that his client is in a lot of pain and trauma and cannot control how other people handle firearms. Torraco further explained that when Halls checked the firearm, he was checking to see if there were any blanks or dummy rounds in the firearm, and it was “never in anyone's imagination” that live rounds would be in the gun.
In conclusion, the tragic shooting on the set of “Rust” was a result of negligent handling of firearms and safety concerns that were not addressed. The court case serves as a reminder of the importance of proper firearms safety and training to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
0. “Rust Shooting Gets A Verdict But It's Not Against Alec Baldwin” Giant Freakin Robot, 31 Mar. 2023, https://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/ent/rust-shooting-gdavid-halls-probation.html
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2. “Assistant director for ‘Rust' pleads guilty to gun charge” UPI News, 31 Mar. 2023, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2023/03/31/Rust-gun-charge-Alec-Baldwin/5701680291161/
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