Famous criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos said on Tuesday he would be stunned if a manslaughter charge was not laid following the on-set murder of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was allegedly shot dead by actor and co-producer Alec Baldwin.
“I will tell you that I would be shocked if there had not been a charge of manslaughter in this case,” Geragos told “The Story” host Martha Maccallum.
Hutchins, 42, died last Thursday after Baldwin fired a loaded gun given to him by an assistant director who mistakenly believed it was safe to use on the set of “Rust” in New Mexico. Director Joel Souza was also shot and injured but has since been released from hospital.
While the investigation into the incident is ongoing, Geragos said it is likely that those found responsible will face significant legal ramifications.
“Who are they attacking, that’s a real question, because I don’t know if we’ve heard all the facts.” said Geragos. “I don’t think anyone did this on purpose, from what has been reported. But clearly, someone put live ammo on a set and clearly pointed it at the director.”
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Detectives, operating under a Search warrant executed by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, discovered that there were three key people handling the firearm in question.
Armorer Hanna Gutierrez Reed allegedly placed the prop pistol outside the church location on a cart with other prop pistols due to coronavirus restrictions. The next person to deal with it was Deputy Director Dave Halls, who handed it over to Baldwin, announcing that it was a “cold gun“, a term used to indicate to those in the field that the firearm was unloaded and therefore safe to handle.
Geragos said Baldwin’s role as the film’s producer may impact the prosecution of the charges.
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“Alec Baldwin is probably in charge because he’s the producer and he has a big voice on the budget here,” Geragos said. “I guarantee you they’re also looking at whether people are saving money or trying to cut costs and [whether] that’s one of the results of that. “