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Baldwin settles with slain Rust cinematographer's family

Baldwin settles with slain Rust cinematographer's family

FILE PHOTO: An image of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died after being shot by Alec Baldwin on the set of his movie "Rust", is displayed at a vigil in her honour in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S., October 23, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt/File Photo

Actor Alec Baldwin and the producers of the Western Rust have reached a settlement with the family of the movie's cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who Baldwin shot dead during filming last year, Hutchins' husband said on Wednesday (Oct 5).

Under the deal, the family's civil lawsuit against Baldwin and others will be dismissed and filming of the movie will resume in January with all the original principal players, Matthew Hutchins said in a statement.

Production of the low-budget film was taking place at Bonanza Creek Ranch outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, in October 2021, when Halyna Hutchins, 42, died.

Baldwin was rehearsing with a revolver when it fired a live round that hit the Ukrainian cinematographer as well as movie director Joel Souza, who survived.

"I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr Baldwin)," said Hutchins, a mergers and acquisitions lawyer who under the deal will become executive producer of the movie. "All of us believe Halyna's death was a terrible accident."

Baldwin and others could face criminal charges over Hutchins' death, a New Mexico prosecutor said in September. Investigators have focused on determining who handled the pistol Baldwin fired.

The 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live actor has denied responsibility for Hutchins' death and said live rounds should never have been allowed on the set.

"We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation," his lawyer Luke Nikas said in a statement on the settlement.

Hutchins family lawyer Brian Panish at the February presentation of the lawsuit said Baldwin bore significant liability for the killing as he should have checked that the gun did not contain live rounds, should not have pointed it at a person and should not have pulled the trigger.

Baldwin has said he was told the gun was "cold", an industry term meaning it was safe to use, and he did not pull the trigger.

An FBI forensic test of the single-action revolver found it "functioned normally" and would not fire without the trigger being pulled.

New Mexico's Office of the Medical Investigator in August ruled the shooting an accident as the gun did not appear to have been deliberately loaded with a live round.

The state's worker safety agency fined the film's production company the maximum amount possible for what it described as "willful" safety lapses leading to Hutchin's death.

Source: Reuters/ec
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