The settlement reached by Alec Baldwin and the estate of the cinematographer he killed on the set of “Rust” will have “no impact” on potential criminal charges, prosecutors said Wednesday.
“The proposed settlement announced today in Matthew Hutchins’ wrongful death case against Rust movie producers, including Alec Baldwin, in the death of Halyna Hutchins will have no impact on District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies’ ongoing investigation or her ultimate decision whether to file criminal charges in the case,” said Heather Brewer, spokesperson for the Santa FE District Attorney’s Office in New Mexico, in a statement shortly after news of the settlement was announced.
“While civil suits are settled privately and often involve financial awards, criminal cases deal only in facts. If the facts and evidence warrant criminal charges under New Mexico law then charges will be brought,” the statement continues.
“No one is above the law,” it warned.
The remarks, one of a handful of comments the office has made since the Oct. 2021 fatal shooting, came just hours after Rust Movie Productions announced they privately settled the wrongful death lawsuit brought after Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed on set.
In wake of the legal victory, the producers also announced filming for the doomed Western will resume in January and Halyna’s husband Matthew will serve as an executive producer on the project.
When Halyna’s estate first filed suit against Baldwin, 64, and the production company in February, they alleged the actor “recklessly shot and killed” the mom of one and assigning blame among the many people involved would be their top priority.
The tone was a far cry from the statement issued Wednesday by Matthew, who intimated his wife’s death was not criminal in nature.
“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” Matthew said in the statement, released by Rust Movie Productions.
“All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”
The about-face came about two weeks after Carmack-Altwies revealed the investigation into the shooting is nearing its end and she is considering prosecuting up to four people in connection with the tragedy, including Baldwin.
She asked New Mexico’s finance board for the funding necessary to bring the case and listed “well known movie actor Alec Baldwin” as a “possible defendant.”
The money was requested so the office could contract a prosecutor who could solely focus on the case, along with experts, paralegals and a public information officer who could handle media requests.
The board ultimately gave the office about half of the funding they sought and considering the recent appointment of Brewer, the money earmarked for prosecuting the case is already being spent.
Brewer insisted in a statement to The Post Carmack-Altwies has not definitively decided whether or not to bring charges and said “there is no timeline” for her decision.
“The District Attorney is waiting for the final report for the Santa Fe County Sheriff. Once she receives the report, the District Attorney and her team of professional attorneys and investigators will carefully review all of the materials provided,” Brewer said.
“The District Attorney’s priority will be upholding the integrity of the process and ensuring that, like any other case she handles, this investigation is held to the highest standards.”
Additional reporting by Marjorie Hernandez