Science

“Rust” shooting report now in the hands of prosecutors

A sheriff’s department on Thursday submitted its investigative findings to prosecutors in the death of a cinematographer. shot dead by alec baldwin On the set of a movie in New Mexico in October 2021.

Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office spokesman Juan Rios said two binders of information were turned over to the Santa Fe-based district attorney’s office, without making any recommendations about potential criminal charges.

He said the case file outlines all the evidence collected, including investigative interviews by the FBI and forensic analysis of physical evidence. District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altweiss said through a spokeswoman that investigators and prosecutors will now begin a thorough review to make a timely decision. to charge or notwithout mentioning the specific time frame.

Sundance Film Festival Kickoff Party
Filmmaker Helena Hutchins attends the 2018 Sundance Film Festival Official Kickoff Party hosted by Sundance TV at Sundance TV Headquarters on January 19, 2018 in Park City, Utah.

Matt Hayward


cinematographer helena hutchins Died shortly after being injured by a gunshot wound during the set-up for a scene for the western film “Rust” at a Filmset ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe on October 21, 2021. Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun went off, killing him and wounding director Joel Souza.

The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office has already made public a vast trove of law enforcement files related to the fatal shooting, including lapel camera video of the mortally wounded Hutchins, witness inquiries, email threads, text conversations, ammunition Includes list and hundreds of photos.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza has described “a degree of neglect” on the set of “Rust,” but leaving decisions about potential criminal charges to prosecutors.

Hutchins’ family – widower Matthew Hutchins and 9-year-old son Andros – recently settle a case against the producers of “Rust” under a deal that aims to resume filming with Matthews as executive producer.

Baldwin has said that the gun went off by mistake and he did not pull the trigger, But a recent FBI forensic report found that the weapon could not fire until the trigger was pulled.

The New Mexico Medical Investigator’s Office determined that the shooting was an accident after an autopsy and review of law enforcement reports.

prop firearm movie set
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Deputy speaks briefly with a security guard at the entrance to Bonanza Creek Ranch on Monday, October 25, 2021 in Santa Fe, NM. A camera operator told officers that Alec Baldwin was wary of weapons on set. Court records show that the actor told the film “Rust” it was safe to use before shooting a cinematographer with a gun to kill him.

Je C. Hong / AP


Rust Movie Productions continues to challenge the grounds of a $137,000 fine against the company by New Mexico’s commercial safety regulators, who say production managers on set failed to follow standard industry protocols for firearms safety. The State Occupational Health and Safety Review Commission has scheduled an eight-day hearing on the disputed restrictions in April 2023.

In April, New Mexico’s Bureau of Occupational Health and Safety imposed a maximum fine against Rust Movie Productions and distributed a scathing story of safety failures, including testimony that production managers fired two misfires of empty ammunition on set before the fatality. Limited or no action taken to address. Shooting.

Rust Movie Productions told safety regulators that the misfire did not violate safety protocols prior to Hutchins’ fatal shooting and that “appropriate corrective action was taken”, including briefings to cast and crew.

Other legal troubles remain regarding the film and the fatal shooting.

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