Baldwin co-defendant gets six months probation on gun charge

Baldwin Co-Defendant Gets Six Months Probation On Gun Charge
Safety co-ordinator and assistant director David Halls also must pay a $500 fine and complete a gun-safety course. Photo: PA Images
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Associated Press Reporter

A co-defendant in the case against actor Alec Baldwin in the fatal 2021 shooting of a cinematographer on a movie set in New Mexico was convicted on Friday of unsafe handling of a firearm and sentenced to six months of probation.

Safety co-ordinator and assistant director David Halls also must pay a $500 fine and complete a gun-safety course after agreeing to plead guilty to the charge related to the death of Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western movie Rust.


Halls appeared briefly by video to waive his right to challenge the negligence charge, as state District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer approved terms of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Defence attorney Lisa Torraco urged the court to not impose a prison sentence — the maximum possible penalty was six months behind bars — noting that Halls was “extremely traumatised and “rattled” with guilt.

Baldwin and movie armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed have pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter that carry a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and fines.

Ms Hutchins died shortly after she was shot on October 21, 2021, during rehearsals on a film-set ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe.


Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2023 Gala
Alec Baldwin (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Ms Hutchins when the weapon went off; a single live round killed her and wounded director Joel Souza.

Ms Torraco said Halls had checked the rounds in the revolver before handing it to Baldwin to see whether they were dummies or blanks with an explosive. She said it was “never in anyone’s imagination” that live rounds would be in the gun.


Halls agreed to co-operate and provide testimony in further legal proceedings, a decision that holds implications for Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed.

In separate regulatory proceedings, workplace safety authorities have asserted Halls shared responsibility for identifying and correcting any hazardous conditions related to firearms safety in the movie’s production.

A weeks-long preliminary hearing in May will decide whether evidence against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed is sufficient to proceed to trial.

Santa Fe’s district attorney this week appointed two special prosecutors, Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis.


The original special prosecutor, Andrea Reeb, resigned in the wake of missteps in the filing of initial charges against Baldwin and objections that Ms Reeb’s role as a state legislator created conflicting responsibilities.

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