New Mexico allows funds for prosecutions in ‘Rust’ shooting

More than $317K greenlit | As many as 4 could face charges

FILE - This aerial photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., on Oct. 23, 2021. On Wednesday, April 20, 2022, New Mexico workplace safety regulators issued the maximum possible fine against a film production company for firearms safety failures on the set of Rust where a cinematographer was fatally shot in October 2021 by actor and producer Alec Baldwin. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) (Jae C. Hong, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

SANTA FE, N.M. – New Mexico has granted funds to pay for possible prosecutions connected to last year’s fatal film-set shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported Thursday.

The state Board of Finance greenlit more than $317,000 to cover the cost of investigating potential charges in the shooting on the set of “Rust” outside Santa Fe.

First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies made an emergency request for the funds to go toward a special prosecutor, special investigator, several experts and other personnel.

As many as four people could face charges, according to a copy of the request obtained by the newspaper, though Carmack-Altwies did not say anyone definitely would.

"One of the possible defendants is well known movie actor Alec Baldwin,” she stated.

When reached for comment by the newspaper, she declined to say which crew members or cast could face charges. The possible charges her office is looking at range from homicide to violations of state gun statutes.

Carmack-Altwies said she is expecting to receive the final investigation report from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office soon.

Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when it went off on Oct. 21, killing her and wounding the director, Joel Souza. They had been inside a small church during setup for filming a scene.

Baldwin has said the gun went off accidentally and that he did not pull the trigger. But a recent FBI forensic report found the weapon could not not have fired unless someone pulled the trigger.

The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, has been named in several lawsuits, including a wrongful death claim filed by Hutchins’ family.