Alan Dershowitz Weighs in on Whether Alec Baldwin Shooting Is a ‘Homicide’

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
October 26, 2021 Updated: October 26, 2021

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said that the on-set killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins may be deemed a homicide amid an ongoing investigation into the matter.

Actor and co-producer Alec Baldwin allegedly shot and killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza while filming Western drama “Rust” in New Mexico. Court documents said that Baldwin was handed a “cold gun,” meaning a gun that didn’t have live rounds, when the incident occurred on Oct. 21.

Dershowitz, in an opinion article for The Hill, wrote that “guidelines seem not to have been followed in this case, and the existing guidelines seem insufficient to prevent accidents like this.”

“It is likely, therefore, that the killing of Halyna Hutchins could constitute a homicide—that is, a criminal killing,” added Dershowitz, a criminal defense lawyer who has represented the likes of Mike Tyson, Jim Bakker, and Jeffrey Epstein. “The remaining questions are who might be criminally responsible for the killing and what degree of homicide fits the evidence?”

And, he added that it appears Baldwin “was not aware that he was firing a gun capable of expelling a lethal projectile,” adding that “his role reportedly was not limited to passively being an actor; he may have had some responsibility as one of several producers of the film.”

“The nature of the role of producers varies from film to film, and it is unlikely that Baldwin’s role included responsibility for set safety,” said Dershowitz, who also represented former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial in the Senate.

dershowitz
Attorney and law professor Alan Dershowitz is seen in Washington on Jan. 29, 2020. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

“But some may think that it was not simply enough for him to accept the word of an assistant director about the gun’s safety that he perhaps should have independently inspected the gun before firing it,” he said. “It is unlikely, however, that such an omission would result in criminal responsibility.”

It comes as a camera operator told officials that Baldwin was typically careful with firearms on set, according to court records. Baldwin has not been charged with a crime, and no civil lawsuits have been filed against him.

Cameraman Reid Russell told investigators that Baldwin was rehearsing a scene in which he draws his gun and points it at the camera. But he said it wasn’t clear whether the gun was checked before it was handed to Baldwin, according to the court documents.

“Joel stated that they had Alec sitting in a pew in a church building setting, and he was practicing a cross draw. Joel said he was looking over the shoulder of [Hutchins] when he heard what sounded like a whip and then loud pop,” an Oct. 24 affidavit reads. Hutchins was shot in the chest, the documents said.

After the incident, Baldwin wrote on Twitter on Oct. 22 that he’s cooperating with the investigation and expressed his condolences to Hutchins’ family.

The court papers did not list whether Baldwin has an attorney.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.