‘Rust’ First Assistant Director Ordered By Judge To Stop Avoiding OSHA Over Fatal Alec Baldwin Film Shooting

A New Mexico judge has ordered that the First Assistant Director at the heart of the fatal shooting by Alec Baldwin of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins can no longer avoid sitting down with the state investigators.

District Court Judge Bryan Biedscheid on Friday granted the state’s Environment Department request for a subpoena for David Halls. After apparently ducking various attempts at an interview as a part of an ongoing Occupational Safety and Health probe, Halls is now expected to sit down with state officials on Tuesday morning.

One of many interviewed on ABC News’ primetime special on the Rust tragedy last night, Halls’ own lawyer Lisa Torraco told Deadline this afternoon that “Mr. Halls is happy to cooperate with the OSHA investigation.” At this point, Torroco says the interview is set to conducted via Zoom, but no details on dates.

Previously, Halls and Torraco insisted they would not talk with  anyone until the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office concluded its investigation into what occurred on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set of the low-budget Western on October 21. While expected to take at least several more weeks, that probe has the potential to result in criminal charges – an outcome that First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies has repeatedly not ruled out.

As for now, OSHA want their questions answered — by Halls and maybe others.

“It’s the bureau’s understanding that Mr. Halls was inside the church when this fatality and injury, this workplace fatality and injury to the second person, occurred,” read court documents first filed this week by New Mexico Environment Department assistant general counsel Mia Napolitano. “So the bureau needs to question Mr. Halls on what occurred inside the church.”

The defendant in the state filing was actually Rust Movie Productions LLC, of which Halls is considered by the Environment Department to be in a management position.

“Mr. Halls could also inform the bureau as to who else was inside the church and who else we should interview,” the filing adds. “It’s also the bureau’s understanding Mr. Halls conducted safety meetings on site and had a role in safety on set.”

Halls has admitted to Santa Fe sheriffs that he did not properly check the weapon in question before giving it to Baldwin and declaring “cold gun” on set. As Deadline reported on October 25, Halls was fired from a previous film because of gun safety lapses and was not rehired over personal misconduct complaints on a 2019 Blumhouse TV project.

Nearing two months since Hutchins died and director Joel Souza was injured, it is worth noting that no one has been arrested or charged over the Rust shooting

As the Sheriff’s Office probe continues with four search warrants issued so far, two lawsuits have already been filed, with Baldwin and Halls — along with the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, prop master Sarah Zachery, plus producers and others — named as defendants. Most of them have hired defense lawyers, and Hutchins’ family has also hired an attorney, one who specializes in wrongful-death suits.

The production of the now shuttered film itself hired law firm Jenner Block to conduct an internal investigation into the shooting. Part of that ongoing investigation is to have associates of the high-profile firm sit in on OSHA interviews with Rust cast, crew and producers.

In all such sit-downs in all the investigations there is a lot to be discussed, especially the origin of the live rounds that should have never been on the set.

The search warrants executed by the police at the Bonanza Creek Ranch have found a number of weapons and, according to Sheriff Adan Mendoza in a late October press conference, who noted “500 rounds of ammunition … a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and what we are suspecting are live rounds.”

Filling the information gap with potential doubt for future juries, Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers have been floating a “sabotage” theory based on the mass resignation of the Rust camera crew just hours before the shooting. Baldwin told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on December 2 that while he cocked the hammer of the gun that killed Hutchins, he never pulled the trigger.

Halls, via attorney Torraco, has backed star-producer’s Baldwin’s stance, something that surely will be of interest to the OSHA team.

Baldwin has also said and posted on social media that before the shooting the Rust set was a safe one. An assertion contradicted by at least two documented incidents of unintended weapons discharges on the film before Hutchins’ death.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2021/12/alec-baldwin-shooting-subpoena-david-halls-osha-halyna-hutchins-1234889368/