“Rust” assistant director Dave Halls was sentenced Friday after pleading no contest to negligent/unsafe handling of a firearm that led to the on-set October 2021 fatal shooting of the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins.
Halls entered a plea of no contest to the misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer accepted the plea. The prosecution requested a suspended sentence, which is a conviction.
Halls’ attorney Lisa Torraco argued his sentence should be deferred. Torraco explained that Halls did not have control over how individual people handled safety on the set.
“In his mind, he was checking for dummy rounds or blanks,” she explained. “He, like many others, is extremely traumatized.” Halls is “rattled” with feelings of guilt, she added.
Torraco also emphasized that Halls came in early to the court and pleaded no contest so that everyone can move on and begin processing what happened.
However, Sommer was not convinced and gave him a suspended sentence. The assistant director will not serve jail time and instead was given six months of unsupervised probation.
Halls’ probation includes testifying truthfully at any trials or hearings, a $500 fine, participation in a firearms safety course with proof of completion within 60 days of his plea, no alcohol, 24 hours of community service and no contact with any potential witnesses or co-defendants.
Halls’ original hearing was scheduled for March 29.
Halls and the district attorney reached the plea agreement on Jan. 20.
Halls was one of three people to be charged in connection to Hutchins’ death.
Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were both charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Halls allegedly handed Baldwin a .45 revolver, telling him that it was “cold,” or safe. Prior to that, Gutierrez-Reed spun the cylinder to show Halls what was in the gun, her lawyer previously said.
Baldwin has maintained that he did not pull the trigger of the gun — once during a primetime interview shortly following the deadly shooting and again on a podcast episode. The actor originally said he had pulled the hammer of the gun back as far as he could and released it, but did not pull the trigger.
Halls’ attorney previously claimed the assistant director did not hand off the gun to Baldwin, despite search warrants confirming he had told police he did.
“This idea my client grabbed the gun and handed it to Baldwin absolutely did not happen,” Torraco said shortly after the shooting during an appearance on “The Story.” She later dodged questions during the interview about whether Halls handed the gun to Baldwin, despite Martha McCallum asking whether Halls “doesn’t know if he handed the gun to Alec Baldwin.”
The investigation into Hutchins’ death went on for over a year.
The prosecution has also been plagued with issues as Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers fight for a fair trial.
Most recently, District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies stepped down as the prosecutor after Jason Bowles, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, argued she could not serve as co-counsel alongside a special prosecutor under New Mexico law.
In response, two new special prosecutors were assigned to the case: Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis.
“Morrissey’s and Lewis’ extensive experience and trial expertise will allow the state to pursue justice for Halyna Hutchins and ensure that in New Mexico everyone is held accountable under the law,” Heather Brewer, spokesperson for First New Mexico Judicial District Attorney, said in a statement.
New Mexico State Rep. Andrea Reeb was previously serving as the special prosecutor before she stepped down on March 14.
Baldwin’s attorneys filed a motion arguing Reeb’s appointment was unconstitutional and that she could not serve as a legislative member and prosecutor at the same time under New Mexico law.
A preliminary hearing for Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed is scheduled to begin on May 3.
I’m wondering how many millions the Demonic Baldwin Cry Baby Bitch paid this guy to take the fall for him and do his jail time for him
IMO the woman in charge of making sure the gun only had blanks, should do jail time, as she obviously didnt do her job.
That’s fine but this is not the first time people have died on set handling firearms so Baldwin should be held responsible. Of course the Liberal judges will smooth it all over and that puke won’t spend 5 minutes in jail