LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Will Alec Baldwin be charged following the deadly shooting on his movie set in New Mexico? As an actor, he’s probably not going to be held criminally liable. But as a producer on the movie, he could be in trouble.
“Ultimately, the question is going to be what Alec Baldwin knew about the people he was hiring,” defense attorney Cynthia Armijo said on “Dan Abrams Live.”
Armijo has practiced criminal law in New Mexico for more than 20 years.
In the state, a person can be convicted of involuntary manslaughter for an action “in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death in an unlawful manner or without due caution and circumspection.”
“I certainly see liability civilly, if not criminally, for this case,” Armijo said.
Dave Halls, the assistant director, unwittingly handed Baldwin a loaded weapon and told him it was safe to use in the moments before the actor fatally shot a cinematographer, court records show. A producer told the Associated Press Monday Halls had been fired from a previous job in 2019 after a gun went off on a set and wounded a member of the film crew.
Hours before the fatal shooting involving Baldwin, a camera crew for the movie titled “Rust” walked off the job to protest conditions and production issues that included safety concerns.
The gun used during the shooting was one of three that the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez, had set on a cart outside the wooden structure where a scene was being acted, according to the records.
Gutierrez gave an interview in September to the “Voices of the West” podcast.
During the interview, Gutierrez shared that she had just finished her first movie in the role of head armorer, a project shot in Montana starring Nicolas Cage titled “The Old Way.”
“I was really nervous about it at first and I almost didn’t take the job because I wasn’t sure if I was ready, but doing it, like, it went really smoothly,” she said.
“We know that for sure with Hannah Gutierrez, that she is giving statements and her past statements are coming to haunt her and certainly they’re not only haunting her, they’re haunting … Alec Baldwin, the producer,” Armijo said.
Armijo said because of this, her advice to Baldwin would be not to speak out.
“The reason why is because things that you say can be misconstrued,” Armijo said.
Baldwin has described the killing as a “tragic accident.”
“There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation,” Baldwin wrote on Twitter. “My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.