Santa Fe DA warns Alec Baldwin not off the hook just yet in movie set shooting, despite ABC interview take

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Actor Alec Baldwin isn’t off the hook just yet for possibly facing criminal charges in the tragic incident that took place on a New Mexico movie set when he fired a prop gun that contained live ammo, killing the  film’s cinematographer.

During Baldwin’s teary interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos he claimed that he didn’t pull the trigger that ended the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a rehearsal for the western saga “Rust.” The veteran actor also stated that he would not face criminal charges.

In what was Baldwin’s first official sit-down since the shooting, Stephanopoulos asked him, “You’re not worried about being charged?”

Baldwin responded, “I don’t… I’ve been told by people who are in the know in terms of even inside the state…that it’s highly unlikely I would be charged with anything criminally.”

Baldwin’s claim appeared to be news to Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, who threw cold water on the actor’s assertion that he was in the clear, declaring on Friday that “certain individuals may be criminally culpable for his/her actions and/or inactions on the set of Rust.

“As the First Judicial District Attorney, I have not made a decision to charge or not charge any individuals involved in the shooting that resulted in the death of Halyna Hutchins and injury of Joel Souza,” Carmack-Altwies stated, according to Deadline.

Albuquerque television station KOB 4 reported that the prosecutor also said in a statement, “I will exercise my prosecutorial discretion to its fullest, including filing charges that are supported by probable cause. My office is exploring various legal theories at the time. Everyone involved in the handling and use of firearms on the set had a duty to behave in a manner such that the safety of others was protected, and it appears that certain actions and inactions contributed to this outcome.”

The ABC interview may have been a public relations triumph for Baldwin when it comes to the media, but it didn’t go over quite as well with local law enforcement.

Members of the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department were not pleased with Baldwin’s chat with Stephanopoulos as he had been asked “to not comment on the shooting beyond condolences as the police’s investigation continues,” Deadline reported.

“One source told us the department felt “betrayed after all the consideration given to Baldwin in the aftermath of the shooting.” Another law enforcement source said that “Baldwin is testing the department’s patience and becoming a distraction to the ongoing investigation,” according to the celebrity news website.

Baldwin’s account of what happened has drawn skepticism from many including actor John Schneider who starred in the popular 1980s television series The Dukes Of Hazard who posted a video calling out the claim that he didn’t pull the trigger as “bullsh*t” and that the interview as  “all designed to make us feel sorry for Alec Baldwin.”

Schneider added, “This is a wonderful business we all work in. We are honored and privileged to be part of it,” Schneider continued. “So when someone takes a crap – which obviously George and Alec have done here and obviously this woman is still deceased. Her family is still without a mother, without a wife. This is absurd.”

The investigation into the killing of Hutchins continues and while Baldwin would like nothing better than to try the case in the court of public opinion, the authorities will have the ultimate say on whether he is charged in her death.

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Chris Donaldson

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