Alec Baldwin shooting investigation is FINALLY complete
But the prosecutor is waiting to decide criminal charges
One year and six days ago, Alec Baldwin pointed a loaded gun at his movie crew and pulled the trigger. The Santa Fe Sheriff has finally completed the “death investigation” about it on Thursday and sent it to the District Attorney for her to determine if Baldwin will be criminally charged for his actions.
Baldwin shot and killed his cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, and the bullet lodged in the director Joel Souza’s shoulder. He has said repeatedly that he will not be charged.
You can read my year-long series on Baldwin at this section of the newsletter.
I’ve tried to reach the sheriff’s spokesman, Juan Rios, to find out if there were recommended charges, but he’s not responding. The report has not yet been made public. There was no press conference. At least one other possible defendant has not seen the police report.
District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies’s spokesman put out a statement saying in part:
The District Attorney and her team of investigators and prosecutors will now begin a thorough review of the information and evidence to make a thoughtful, timely decision about whether to bring charges.
Now they will review the evidence?
Carmack-Altweis has been supposedly investigating all this time. Back in February, she told “Vanity Fair” magazine that she had done an “unofficial test” with a similar revolver to prove that Baldwin could have fired the gun without pulling the trigger by just pulling back the hammer. Basically, she publicly announced she was able to exonerate him.
However more recently, she asked for funding to prosecute up to four people with jury trials, and she said Alec Baldwin may be criminally charged.
I asked Sal LaBarbera, the former head of LAPD homicide, who has been helping me all year sort out this bizarre police investigation, for his analysis of the sheriff’s report to the D.A.
He called this situation “absolutely ridiculous.” LaBarbera said, “They should’ve been working together on this. In most cases that are high profile, the prosecutors and the police work together on it.”
The D.A’s statement about doing its own investigation looks like it’s being deliberately slowed again. LaBarbera said he “wouldn’t be surprised if the District Attorney’s Office held on the case as long as the investigators did.”
Baldwin settled suddenly
The sheriff’s report not being public and the lack of a press conference is telling. “When investigators turn their case over to prosecutors, of course, they make recommendations based on the investigation they conducted,” said LaBarbera. “Sadly that civil payout will have a bearing on all this.”
He’s referring to the settlement – which I wrote about there – between Baldwin and Matthew Hutchins, Halyna’s husband and father of their son. The sudden settlement after a year of acrimony came right after the D.A. wrote that Baldwin might be charged.
Baldwin posted this photo of Hutchins on Instagram six days ago with the cold caption, “One year ago today…”
Civil settlements affect criminal charges because the prosecutor will weigh whether the victim’s family has been made whole in some way. It could have been part of a larger deal with the state on criminal charges, according to a lawyer who does similar work.
The money involved in the settlement was not made public, only that Hutchins will executive produce the production of “Rust” with Baldwin continuing as the star.
Lies and media manipulation
I went back to my first story on the Baldwin shooting from Oct. 22, 2021 and was reminded how many lies Baldwin has told since the first statement to the media and even in his interview with the sheriff’s deputies.
The first public statement that Baldwin and his production company released to the media said:
There was an accident today on the New Mexico set of Rust involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.
It was a real gun, not a prop. There was a lead bullet, not a blank, in the live round. And, most importantly, the revolver did not misfire. The FBI forensics report (you can read it here) said Baldwin pulled the trigger.
But as a result of that statement, legitimate media outlets continue to call the gun a “prop” (google it) which gives the impression to the public that the actor was not responsible for following the gun safety rules.
From day one, Baldwin lied to the deputy sheriffs and the media by saying he did not pull the trigger. He still claims that.
He admitted he knows the gun safety rules – assume the gun is loaded, keep it pointed in a safe direction, finger off the trigger - but claimed his employees were responsible for adhering to them. Baldwin even blamed the victim, saying Hutchins told him to point the gun at her.