A first conviction for an assistant director

The first assistant director of the film “Rust”, on the set of which actor and producer Alec Baldwin unintentionally killed the cinematographer, was sentenced on Friday to 6 months suspended sentence with probation after a plea agreement guilty. By pleading guilty on Friday, Dave Halls agrees to testify in the future on the matter.

This is the first conviction in this case, here for negligence in the use of a deadly weapon. It was this first assistant, Dave Halls, who handed Alec Baldwin, on October 21, 2021, a weapon supposed to be loaded with blank bullets, which the actor had activated, killing Halyna Hutchins and injuring the director, Joel Souza. Dave Halls, 63, had given him the weapon, informing him that it was “cold”, or not dangerous in Hollywood jargon.

Line of responsibility

Alec Baldwin, as well as filming gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, have both been charged with manslaughter and face up to eighteen months in prison and a $5,000 fine. The police investigation focused in particular on determining how live ammunition could have been found on this shoot on a ranch in New Mexico, which is strictly prohibited, precisely to avoid accidents. Police have concluded that Hannah Gutierrez-Reed put the ammunition in the gun used by Alec Baldwin, instead of a dummy bullet.

Prosecutor Kari Morrissey estimated during the hearing on Friday in a New Mexico court that Dave Halls, who also assumed the role of security coordinator for the low-budget filming and thus constituted the “last line of defense”, n had not “checked every cartridge in the gun to confirm that they were blanks”. Alec Baldwin, 64, best known for the series 30Rock, always said that he had been assured that his weapon was harmless.

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