Alec Baldwin will make his first appearance in court in the United States over the death of Halyna Hutchins on February 24.
The Hollywood actor has two counts of involuntary manslaughter due to the incident on the set of the movie Rust in October 2021.
The Santa Fe District Attorney’s office formally charged the offenses on Tuesday, along with the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed.
In a statement of probable cause, filed along with the charges, the DA claimed that Baldwin’s “reckless deviation from recognized standards and practice and protocol” directly caused the fatal shooting.
Baldwin is scheduled to appear in Santa Fe Magistrate Court on February 24 at 10am local time for his plea hearing.
The PA news agency understands the hearing is likely to be virtual.
In his report, the DA alleged that the actor showed a “willful disregard” for the safety of others in the days leading up to the incident and failed to attend “mandatory” firearms training.
Instead, he undertook a 30-minute on-set session, during which a phone call to his family disturbed him, the DA said.
The statement added that there had been “less than a dozen acts or omissions of recklessness” on the set in the period leading up to the incident on the day of the shooting.
“The evidence and statements documented in this affidavit confirm numerous instances of grossly reckless acts or reckless failures to act by Baldwin in a 10-day period,” the statement read.
“The evidence clearly shows that Baldwin, in his position as an actor or producer, did not address any of the incidents or issues to mitigate future reckless incidents, correct reckless behavior or correct training deficiencies.
“Baldwin’s departure from recognized standards, practice and protocol directly caused Hutchins’ fatal death.”
Both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be “alternatively charged” with the two counts of manslaughter, meaning a jury would decide not only whether they were guilty, but what definition of involuntary manslaughter they were guilty of, the DA’s office previously said. .
The first charge can be involuntary manslaughter and requires proof of gross negligence.
This charge also includes the misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a firearm, which could merge as a matter of law.
The second charge is involuntary manslaughter when a lawful act was committed, which requires proof that death was more than simple negligence.
Under New Mexico law, both charges are a fourth-degree felony and are punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 (£4,000) fine.
The second charge includes a firearm enhancement, or additional mandatory penalty, which makes the crime punishable by a mandatory five years in prison.