‘Rust’ assistant director David Halls sentenced for role in deadly on-set shooting

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David Halls, the first assistant director for the Western flick “Rust,” was sentenced to six months of probation as part of a plea deal made in connection with the deadly on-set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Halls appeared virtually on Friday for the sentencing hearing before a New Mexico First Judicial District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer. The 63-year-old, who served as the on-set safety coordinator, looked somber as he entered a no-contest plea to a misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon.

Halls was ordered to pay a $500 fine and complete a gun-safety course within the next 60 days. He has also agreed to testify in the upcoming criminal cases against Alec Baldwin and set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. They are both facing involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with Hutchins’ shooting death.

Firearm enhancement charges for both were dropped in late February.

Hutchins was prepping for a scene inside the Bonanza Creek Ranch, in Santa Fe, N.M., on Oct. 21, 2021, when she was shot with a prop gun handled by leading man Baldwin. The 64-year-old actor at the time was seated in a church pew and practicing whipping a pistol from his holster when the gun discharged.

Hutchins was killed by the single live round, which also wounded director Joel Souza.

Defense attorney Lisa Torraco told Sommer that while Halls checked the rounds in the firearm before handing it to Baldwin, it had actually been Gutierrez-Reed’s job to ensure the weapon’s safety.

“When he checked the firearm at that point in time, he’s checking to see if there are any blanks or dummy rounds in the firearm,” Torraco said, adding that it was “never in anyone’s imagination” that live rounds would be in the gun.

“Mr. Halls does not handle firearms,” she emphasized. “His job is not to handle firearms. He does not like firearms.”

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed have pleaded not guilty to charges filed in connection with Hutchins’ death. They have both maintained they were unaware of the live rounds inside the pistol.

Baldwin has also denied pulling the trigger

With News Wire Services