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Murder of Galina Hutchins on set: 'Rust' assistant director sentenced

Rust's first assistant director has been sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation as part of a plea deal in connection with the on-set shooting and death of cinematographer Galina Hutchins. Writes about it ABC News.

Photo: IStock

David Halls, 63, charged with negligent use of a lethal weapon in connection with the October 2021 shooting on the set of a Western in Santa Fe (Texas). Halls handed Alec Baldwin a .45 Colt revolver, which fired while the actor was practicing crossfire and hit Hutchins. Lawyers for Halls and Baldwin said neither knew the firearms contained live ammunition.

During a virtual plea hearing, Halls did not contest the misdemeanor charge. He answered questions from the judge but made no further statements about the incident.

On the subject: Alec Baldwin sues 'The Rust' crew members for Galina Hutchins' death

“He, like many others, is extremely traumatized and just overwhelmed with guilt and questions about how he could have done differently and changed everything,” explained his lawyer Lisa Torraco.

She asked the judge to stay the sentence and argued that his role as security coordinator was not to control how people handled guns, but to ensure security meetings were held.

“Halls is in a lot of pain. He was 3 feet (1 m) away from Hutchins when the shot occurred. Nobody expected this,” said Torraco.

Prosecutor Kari Morrissey argued that, as safety coordinator, Halls was responsible for keeping firearms free of live ammunition, and that the set had a history of firearm-related security issues.

“Obviously it was a very serious incident. A young woman lost her life,” Morrissey said, asking for a suspended sentence.

Judge Mary Marlow Sommers ultimately sided with the prosecution, telling Halls, "I'm not convinced that a stay of sentence is right for you in this case."

In addition to six months of unsupervised probation, the terms of the sentence include that Halls must pay a $500 fine, perform 24 hours of community service, complete a 60-day security course, testify at all shooting-related hearings, and not have contact with colleagues, defendants or witnesses.

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Alec Baldwin and the film's gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reid were charged with manslaughter in connection with Hutchins' death.

Baldwin pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and also denied pulling the trigger. Lawyer Gutierrez-Rid said that her client does not intend to plead guilty, and she has no idea how the live ammunition ended up in the gun.

Both are due to appear in court at a preliminary hearing on May 3.

As ForumDaily wrote earlier:

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