US judge accepts Rust film safety coordinator’s plea deal

Canada Global (Web News) The plea agreement reached between the prosecution and the safety coordinator of the Alec Baldwin-starring movie, whose cinematographer was fatally shot on production, was accepted by a New Mexico judge on Friday.

Baldwin received the loaded revolver from Dave Halls, the assistant director of the low-budget Western “Rust,” and it eventually discharged, killing Halyna Hutchins and injuring Joel Souza, the director.

Baldwin had been informed by Halls, 63, that the weapon was “cold,” or safe in trade terms.

Halls must undergo six months of unsupervised probation for the “unsafe handling of a lethal weapon” but will not be sentenced to jail time under the terms of the plea deal.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armourer for the movie, loaded the gun and gave it to Halls, who tested the weapon to make sure the bullets were “dummy” rounds, meaning they had no gunpowder.

Halls was the “final line of defence” on the set, according to prosecutor Kari Morrissey, who claimed he neglected to “check every ammunition that was in the gun to assure that it was a fake round.”

They could spend up to 18 months in jail and pay a $5,000 fine if proven guilty.

Baldwin, 64, has stated on numerous occasions that the crew informed him the rifle was unloaded.

Halls committed to give testimony in any upcoming proceedings involving the situation when he accepted the arrangement on Friday.

The incident rocked Hollywood and sparked demands for a complete ban on real guns in filming.

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