Nov 18 (Reuters) – A New Mexico sheriff’s office on Friday released documents from the investigation into last year’s fatal shooting of cinematographer Helena Hutchins on the set of the western movie “Rust” as state prosecutors decide whether to press criminal charges.
Among the 551 pages released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office were interviews with witnesses, including star Alec Baldwin, and text messages and emails from crew and cast members detailing the chaotic and terrifying conditions on set at times before Hutchins’ death on October 21, 2021. .
But the documents did not provide conclusive answers about how the live ammunition ended up on the movie set in a ranch outside Santa Fe and in the replica of the Colt .45-caliber revolver that Baldwin shot and killed Hutchins.
Baldwin was given a gun during rehearsals. A live round hit him and film director Joel Souza, who survived.
Baldwin is among four people who could face criminal charges in the cinematographer’s death, New Mexico District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwiz said in September. His office did not respond Friday.
The “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live” actor has denied responsibility for Hutchins’ death and said live rounds should never have been allowed on set.
In police interviews and court filings, the film’s armourer, first assistant director, prop supplier and prop master all denied culpability for the shooting.
One of the documents was an FBI report that found five live bullets in a bandolier and holster on a props trolley near the church where Hutchins died.
The sheriff’s office said it will release additional files in the case by Dec. 20.
Under a lawsuit settlement between Baldwin, the film’s producers and the Hutchins family, “Rust” will resume filming outside New Mexico in January, with the same lead actor and director and husband of the late cinematographer Matthew Hutchins serving as executive producer.
Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico; Edited by Donna Bryson, Rosalba O’Brien and Daniel Wallis
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