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Baldwin Codefendant Gets 6 Months Probation

A co-defendant in the case against actor Alec Baldwin for fatally shooting a cinematographer on a set in New Mexico in 2021 was found guilty of unsafe firearm handling on Friday and given a six-month probationary period.

After agreeing to the conviction in connection with the murder of Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western film “Rust,” safety coordinator and assistant director David Halls was also ordered to pay a $500 fine, complete a gun safety course, and perform 24 hours of community service.

Halls consented to testify honestly at any upcoming hearings or trials as part of the plea deal. These legal actions include those against Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, a movie armorer who has pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter in Hutchins’ murder.

As state District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer authorized the conditions of a plea agreement with the prosecutors, Halls briefly appeared on camera to relinquish his right to contest the carelessness allegation. The highest sentence that could be given was six months in prison, but Halls’ defense counsel Lisa Torraco urged the court not to do so because she was “very disturbed” and “rattled” with guilt.

During practice on a set ranch outside of Santa Fe on October 21, 2021, Hutchins was shot and passed dead shortly after. As the gun went off, Baldwin was aiming a pistol at Hutchins; one live round killed her and injured director Joel Souza. Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed could receive a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison as well as fines if found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

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Before giving the pistol to Baldwin, Torraco said Halls had examined the bullets to determine whether they were explosive-filled blanks or dummy rounds. She claimed that having live bullets in the rifle was “never in anyone’s thoughts.” “When Ms. Gutierrez-Reed carried the gun… Halls did examine the gun before entering the chapel, according to the actress.

He would never have suspected that the rifle had live ammunition. … And like many others, he has suffered great trauma. But, Halls, a senior director with more than 30 years of experience, failed in his responsibility as the last line of defense for firearms safety, according to prosecutor Kari Morrissey, and the deadly incident occurred following two prior gunshots on the set.

“Mr. She said that Halls failed to verify that each cartridge in the gun was a dummy rather than a live round. “He then gave Mr. Baldwin the revolver, and Mr. Baldwin started practicing his cross-draw. The gun fired as I was attempting to practice the cross-draw. Naturally, Mrs. Hutchins was killed when the bullet impacted her. Mr. Halls’ decision to enter a no-contest plea to the charge of unsafe handling of a deadly weapon is supported by the facts.

Authorities on workplace safety have claimed that Halls shared responsibility for discovering and addressing any hazardous conditions linked to the safe use of weapons during the film’s production in separate regulatory actions. On the day that marked the 30th anniversary of Brandon Lee’s passing, Halls was sentenced.

During the filming of “The Crow,” the martial arts star Bruce Lee’s son was struck by a.44-caliber slug from a gun that was meant to have discharged a blank. If there is enough evidence to proceed to trial against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed, it will be decided during a weeklong preliminary hearing in May.

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If Halls violate the terms of the plea agreement, the case may be reopened by the prosecution. Judge Marlowe Sommer confirmed with Halls before imposing her sentence that he would “testify truthfully in all hearings, trials, or settings involving any defendants and co-defendants in this matter.”

Morrissey and Jason Lewis have been designated as special prosecutors by Santa Fe’s district attorney this week. Following errors in the initial filing of charges against Baldwin and complaints that her position as a state senator generated conflicting responsibilities, the original special prosecutor, Andrea Reeb, resigned.


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