Fri. Aug 5th, 2022

Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ shooting prosecutors still awaiting ‘forensic testing’ before criminal charges decision

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Alec Baldwin and New Mexico prosecutors overseeing October’s fatal shooting on the “Rust” film set are awaiting the analysis of “forensic testing” before the decision to file criminal charges can be made, according to District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.

In a social media post shared Wednesday, Carmack-Altwies said her office has received only portions of the investigation from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.

“To dispel any rumors about the Rust case, I am providing the following official update. As I have previously stated, once the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office (“FJDA”) receives the completed investigation from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office (“SFSO”), the FJDA will begin the screening process and any necessary follow-up investigation,” she wrote.

The DA listed outstanding needs, including a review of data from Baldwin’s cellphone, and more from the FBI and state medical examiners.

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Alec Baldwin and New Mexico prosecutors are still waiting on "key forensic" evidence from "Rust" shooting before deciding on criminal charges from fatal on-set shooting in October. Baldwin, left, is pictured in April; District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, right, is pictured in October.

Alec Baldwin and New Mexico prosecutors are still waiting on “key forensic” evidence from “Rust” shooting before deciding on criminal charges from fatal on-set shooting in October. Baldwin, left, is pictured in April; District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, right, is pictured in October.
(Getty Images)

“To date, my office has received portions of the Rust investigation from SFSO but is still awaiting the balance of supplemental reports including, but not limited to, the following: FBI firearm and tool mark analyses, forensic testing on the firearm itself, the forensic download from Suffolk County PD of Mr. Baldwin’s phone, and the pathology report from the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator,” she wrote.

“Once SFSO receives those—and any other outstanding items—and completes its supplemental reports, the screening process will begin, and my team and I will make a charging decision. To expedite the FJDA review process, I have added retired Ninth Judicial District Attorney, Andrea Reeb to the team, as a special prosecutor for this case. To remain transparent to the local and national community, the FJDA will proactively disseminate information as it becomes available.”

A live round of ammunition killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza during rehearsal on Oct. 21, 2021. Filming for the Western “Rust” took place at a ranch on the outskirts of the city of Santa Fe.

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In records released so far, investigators described complacency, disorganization and neglected safety measures in the making of the low-budget movie.

The videos released by investigators show a debriefing with Baldwin hours after the fatal shooting and rehearsal clips that show Baldwin in costume as he practiced a quick-draw maneuver with a gun.

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Baldwin had told investigators that as the gun went off, he was unaware initially that Hutchins would die and was shocked to learn that he had been holding a gun loaded with live ammunition. Baldwin, who also was a producer on the film, had said the gun should have been empty for a rehearsal with no filming.

“I’m very hopeful when the facts come out we will not be held criminally responsible, but it has changed my life. And I don’t mean this in the ordinary sense that I was involved in something or somebody passed,” Baldwin said during an interview at the Boulder International Film Festival in March. “I mean, I was involved in a situation with somebody was killed. It’s changed my life just in terms of the function of weapons in films and television.”

Alec Baldwin appears on video rehearsing with an Old West-style revolver before a fatal "Rust" movie shooting took the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in Santa Fe in late October.

Alec Baldwin appears on video rehearsing with an Old West-style revolver before a fatal “Rust” movie shooting took the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in Santa Fe in late October.
(Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office)

In April, New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau delivered a scathing narrative of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols.

It included testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two previous misfires on the set, complaints from crew members that went unheeded, and reports that weapons specialists were not allowed to make decisions about additional safety training.

Rust Movie Productions is disputing the findings and the sanction.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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