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Rust assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin the gun asks judge DISMISS claims he was at fault

David Halls, the assistant director accused of giving Alec Baldwin, 64, the prop weapon that accidentally discharged and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film Rust, has filed a motion in Los Angeles Superior Court to dismiss two of the three claims Baldwin has filed against him in a countersuit. 

The latest legal action is part of the ongoing legal proceedings following the shooting incident on October 21, 2021.

Halls has also filed his own litigation against Baldwin, armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, prop master Sarah Zachry, and Seth Kenney together with his company, PDQ Arm & Prop, which provided prop weapons and ammunition for the production. 

The original complaint in the case was filed by script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, who claimed that she experienced emotional distress as a result of being present during the shooting.

David Halls, the assistant director accused of handing Alec Baldwin prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins is asking a judge to dismiss Baldwins countersuit

Alex Baldwin, seen on the set of Rust is countersuing Halls for negligence and demanding punitive damages

Alex Baldwin, seen on the set of Rust is countersuing Halls for negligence and demanding punitive damages

In his countersuit, Baldwin has accuses crew members, including Halls, of negligence for allegedly putting live ammunition in the gun he was holding during rehearsal, leading to Hutchins’ death and the injury of director Joel Souza. 

Halls’ motion seeks to have Baldwin’s claims dismissed.  

Baldwin is also suing Halls for negligence, but that claim is not part of Halls’ motion.

In a separate motion, Halls’ attorneys have requested that certain parts of Baldwin’s litigation, including the demand for punitive damages against Halls, be struck from the claim. 

They argue that there are no allegations that Halls intentionally brought live ammunition to the set, intentionally loaded the gun with any live ammunition, knew the gun was loaded with live ammunition before the incident, or intentionally failed to check the gun. 

A hearing on Halls’ motions is scheduled for February 9 before Judge Michael E. Whitaker. 

In his own countersuit, Halls denies any liability, but asks that the parties he is suing be required to pay any damages assessed against him above any comparative fault he may be found to have in the case. 

Halls also alleges that still unidentified ‘Roe’ defendants breached a contract to insure him against liability in the case.

Halyna Hutchins, 42, was accidentally shot and killed by Baldwin on the set of a western

Halyna Hutchins, 42, was accidentally shot and killed by Baldwin on the set of a western

The latest legal action is part of the ongoing legal proceedings following the shooting incident on October 21, 2021

The latest legal action is part of the ongoing legal proceedings following the shooting incident on October 21, 2021

In the days and weeks following the shooting, Alec Baldwin texted Matt Hutchins to tell him of a possible 'sabotage' angle. He and wife Halyna are pictured in photos from her Facebook page

In the days and weeks following the shooting, Alec Baldwin texted Matt Hutchins to tell him of a possible ‘sabotage’ angle. He and wife Halyna are pictured in photos from her Facebook page

Alec Baldwin speaks on the phone in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office in Santa Fe, New Mexico after he was questioned about a shooting on the set of the film

Alec Baldwin speaks on the phone in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office in Santa Fe, New Mexico after he was questioned about a shooting on the set of the film

A distraught Alec Baldwin lingers in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office in Santa Fe following the October 2021 killing

A distraught Alec Baldwin lingers in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office in Santa Fe following the October 2021 killing

Last year, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos, Baldwin said he did not believe he would face any criminal charges in the accident.

‘I’ve been told by people who are in the know, in terms of even inside the state, that it’s highly unlikely that I would be charged with anything criminally,’ he stated.

Last month various documents were released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office were accounts of interviews with witnesses including text messages and emails from crew and cast members sometimes detailing chaotic and acrimonious conditions on set prior to Hutchins’ death on October 21, 2021.

The documents still offer no conclusive answers on how live ammunition got onto the movie set and into a replica Colt .45-caliber revolver that was fired by Baldwin and killed Hutchins.

Baldwin was handed the gun during a rehearsal at a ranch outside Santa Fe. A live round hit her and movie director Joel Souza, who survived.

Baldwin is among up to four people who may face criminal charges for the death of the cinematographer, New Mexico District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in September. 

Actor, Baldwin, has denied responsibility for Hutchins’ death and said live rounds should never have been allowed onto the set of the low-budget movie.

In this image from video released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, Alec Baldwin stands in costume and speaks with investigators following a fatal shooting last year on the movie set

In this image from video released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, Alec Baldwin stands in costume and speaks with investigators following a fatal shooting last year on the movie set

In police interviews and lawsuit filings, the film’s armorer, first assistant director, prop supplier and prop master all denied culpability for the shooting.

New Mexico’s worker safety agency in April fined the film’s production company the maximum amount possible for what it described as ‘willful’ safety lapses leading to Hutchins’ death.

An FBI report said five live bullets were found on a props trolley and in a bandolier and holster near the movie-set church where Hutchins was shot. 

The local district attorney’s office has said it will conduct a ‘thorough review of the information and evidence to make a thoughtful, timely decision about whether to bring charges.’

It is still unclear when and if charges might be filed.

In October, Baldwin filed a lawsuit against four people involved in the film saying they were negligent in providing him with a gun that discharged. Pictured, this aerial photo shows part of the Bonanza Creek Ranch film set in Santa Fe, New Mexico

In October, Baldwin filed a lawsuit against four people involved in the film saying they were negligent in providing him with a gun that discharged. Pictured, this aerial photo shows part of the Bonanza Creek Ranch film set in Santa Fe, New Mexico

In October, Baldwin filed a lawsuit against four people involved in the film saying they were negligent in providing him with a gun that discharged.

In his own lawsuit, Baldwin accuses armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed of failing to verify that a Colt revolver he was using in rehearsal was safe.

In his own lawsuit, Baldwin accuses armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed of failing to verify that a Colt revolver he was using in rehearsal was safe.

The suit sees Baldwin suing film’s armorer and props assistant, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed; assistant director David Halls; props master Sarah Zachry; and Seth Kenney, who supplied guns and ammunition to the film set.

In his suit, Baldwin accuses Gutierrez-Reed of failing to verify that a Colt revolver he was using in rehearsal was safe. The suit also states that Halls failed to check the weapon before he declared it safe and handed it to Baldwin, and that Zachry failed to ensure that weapons used on the New Mexico set were safe.

All those named in the suit have denied any culpability.

Baldwin’s complaint follows a suit filed against him and others on the set last year by script supervisor Mamie Mitchell over their alleged role in the shooting that caused her great emotional distress. 

In October, Baldwin reached a civil settlement with Hutchins’ family, details of which have not been disclosed. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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