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Prosecutors could indict Alec Baldwin for the filming of ‘Rust’

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The New Mexico state district attorney could press charges against four people, including actor Alec Baldwin, for the fatal shooting on the set of “Rust”.

In a recent letter to the state finance board, Santa Fe Dist. Atti. Mary Carmack-Altwies said up to four people could face criminal charges in connection with last year’s crash that claimed the lives of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

The letter, reported for the first time by the Santa Fe New Mexican, said his office is considering charges, including homicide and firearms violation, against four people.

“One of the possible defendants is well-known movie actor Alec Baldwin,” the district attorney wrote in a letter dated Aug. 30 and seen by The Times. She did not identify any other people who could be charged.

“If costs are justified, the [1st Judicial District attorney] plans to sue up to four people. My expenses for the ‘Rust’ [case] will start immediately and will be expensive,” she wrote.

The urgent request for funding could not wait for the next legislative session because “the evidence has just been rendered, the State is ready to make indictments in the ‘Rust’ case”, she writes.

Carmack-Altwies requested $635,500 for what she described as potentially four separate jury trials and to hire a special investigator, media spokesperson and experts.

The state gave the district attorney’s office $317,000 to appoint a special prosecutor to oversee the case, according to the state’s office website.

The prosecutor appointed Andrea Reeb as special prosecutor.

Baldwin’s phone, one of the outstanding pieces of evidence in the case, has been turned over to prosecutors, ABC News reported.

Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, cautioned against assuming his client will be charged.

“The DA has made it clear that she has not received the sheriff’s report or made a decision on who, if anyone, may be charged in this case,” Nikas said. “And in my communications with the DA’s office just a few weeks ago, after the August 30 funding application was submitted, I was told that it would be premature to discuss the matter because they don’t had not yet reviewed the case or deliberated on their charging decision.”

Baldwin has repeatedly denied guilt in the shooting.

Next month will mark a year since the accident on the set of the low-budget western as questions linger over how a live tour ended on production in breach of safety practices.

Last month, another key piece of evidence was handed over to police. A long-awaited FBI report, including an analysis of the gun Baldwin fired, concluded that the gun “functioned normally when tested in the laboratory.”

The report noted that for the Pietta Colt .45 replica to fire, the trigger had to be pulled. Those results seemed to cast doubt on Baldwin’s statements late last year to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he hadn’t pulled the trigger.

However, Nikas, who was also the film’s producer, said the report’s findings had been “misinterpreted”.

“The gun only fired once in testing – without having to pull the trigger – when the hammer was pulled and the gun broke in two different places,” Nikas said. “The FBI was unable to fire the gun in a pre-test, even when pulling the trigger, because it was in such poor condition.”

Earlier this year, Hutchins’ family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin, producers and “Rust” production members who they say broke “the most basic rules of gun use.” in a film production.

Lawyers for the Hutchins family sued gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who they say was responsible for maintaining the guns on set and did not check that the gun or ammunition was safe before the first assistant director Dave Halls does not hand over the gun to Baldwin. The complaint also accuses Halls, a defendant in the lawsuit, of failing to verify that the revolver was safe.

Baldwin blamed Gutierrez Reed and Halls for the tragedy in a interview with CNN last month.

A representative for Halls and Gutierrez Reed did not respond to requests for comment.

A New Mexico state agency has imposed its maximum fine on the producers of “Rust” for breaching safety, saying they showed “complete indifference” to employee safety. Rust Movie Productions LLC has denied the allegations.