David Halls became the first person sentenced in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins by actor Alec Baldwin on the New Mexico film set of "Rust" when he pleaded no contest Friday to a misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon.
Under the plea agreement, Halls, 42, the film's safety coordinator and first assistant director, was sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation, fined $500, and ordered to complete a firearms safety course and 24 hours of community service.
Halls also must testify truthfully at any upcoming hearings or trials, including criminal proceedings against Baldwin and movie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who have each pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter in Hutchins' death.
Hutchins, 42, died shortly after she was shot on Oct. 21, 2021, during rehearsals on a film set on the outskirts of Santa Fe. Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the weapon discharged; a single live round killed her and wounded director Joel Souza. Halls allegedly gave Baldwin the revolver. Baldwin has maintained he did not pull the trigger on the gun.
According to Variety, Halls' defense attorney, Lisa Torraco, said Friday her client disputes the state's contention he was ultimately responsible for set safety.
"He can't control how other people handle firearms," Torraco said. However, she said he had agreed to plead no contest to "make things easier for the family."
"Everybody needs to start processing and moving on," Torraco said. "Mr. Halls is in a lot of pain and a lot of trauma."
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed on May 3 at First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe. If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed could each face a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and fines.
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