News that the husband of Halyna Hutchins has reached a settlement with actor Alec Baldwin and other producers over her shooting on the set of "Rust" stunned many in Hollywood and beyond.
After all, Matthew Hutchins had angrily blamed Baldwin and others for negligence in the death of his wife, a tragedy that became a rallying cry for safer film sets nationwide. Now Hutchins has agreed to serve as executive producer on the film that is set to resume production in January.
Speculation that the proposed settlement would influence the ongoing criminal investigation into the accident was swiftly dispelled Wednesday when Santa Fe County Dist. Atty. Mary Carmack-Altwies vowed to proceed with the case, in which she has said up to four people, including Baldwin, could be charged. "No one is above the law," her office said in a statement.
Although the settlement could be affected by any criminal charges that may be brought against Baldwin and other crew members, legal experts said it could certainly complicate the D.A.'s case.
For example, it could be a problem for the district attorney if she had planned to call Matthew Hutchins to the stand, typically described as a "spark of life" witness, to talk about the victim.
"If he's going to testify that he believes that it was an accident, it's certainly not helpful for your case if you're trying to pursue murder charges," said trial attorney and former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani.
Another potential challenge for the prosecution: Halting the civil case will limit one source of possible evidence prosecutors could use.
"Information that will come from discovery, witnesses, depositions, subpoenas, anything like that, can only hurt [Baldwin] in a criminal case, so I think them shutting down this civil case was an extremely smart move," said Los Angeles personal injury attorney Miguel Custodio, co-founder of Custodio and Dubey LLP.
Nonetheless, Custodio and other legal experts said that Wednesday's proposed civil resolution, which still must be approved by a judge, will not derail a criminal prosecution.
"The thing to understand about criminal cases is that it's not up to the victim to bring the case, it's up to the state of New Mexico to bring the case," said Maryam Ahranjani, a law professor at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
"If they feel that there is value to the public in bringing a criminal case, and if they can prove the material elements of whatever charge beyond a reasonable doubt, then they may still bring a case, regardless of what happened in the civil system," Ahranjani added.
In New Mexico, which has seen a dramatic surge in Hollywood film productions, the D.A. also could face local pressure to press charges, some observers said.
"The prosecutor needs to be independent and make the best decision for the people she represents - the people who elected her and those who live there and probably feel very strongly about this case," said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia. "The D.A. may feel there is a strong public interest in bringing a case, perhaps tell people that they have to be more responsible in that situation."
While the settlement brings an end to one prong of civil litigation, other lawsuits remain pending in New Mexico and Los Angeles, as well as the potential for criminal charges.
Given the outcry from film crews in the wake of Hutchins' death and the effect on the local film industry, the prosecutors may want to use this case to make a stand on set safety.
"It really seems like the state of New Mexico, which has seen increasing movie productions in the state, I think they really want to send a strong signal out to not only this current project and producers, but to future movie production sets that intend on filming in New Mexico that it's OK to be a [low] budget movie and to cut some corners, but safety is not a corner that should ever be cut," Custodio said. "And I think they are going to most likely charge [Baldwin]."
To be sure, an attorney for Baldwin has said that the district attorney has not said whether she will bring any charges. And Baldwin has denied wrongdoing, and said he did not pull the trigger on the gun.
In one similar case, that of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones who was killed when she was hit by a train on a Georgia film set, the family settled their suit, but the director of the movie "Midnight Rider" was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served a prison sentence.
"If you have a case where there's a civil settlement, and the family tells the D.A. that they don't want there to be criminal charges and they feel like there's closure from the civil case, sometimes that influences the D.A.'s office, but sometimes it doesn't because it's a completely independent decision," said Jeff Harris, of Harris Penn, who represented the Jones family in their wrongful death suit in 2014.
But ultimately Tobias didn't think the settlement would affect any criminal case.
"At least some jurors might be aware of the family's settlement with Baldwin and the producers," Tobias said. "But the civil settlement doesn't have any clear legal effect on potential charges."
In the criminal case, the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office gathered evidence for more than six months. FBI analysts tested the weapon Baldwin used, concluding that the trigger had to have been pulled for the gun to fire. Now it is up to Carmack-Altwies and the special prosecutor she appointed to assess whether crimes occurred.
"The standard in civil cases is much different than it is in a criminal case," said Ahranjani. "It's just not the same."
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.
calcitriol medication oral calcitriol calcitriol saleREPLY
buy rocaltrol 0.25 mg online order calcitriol generic rocaltrol 0.25mgREPLY
order azithromycin 500mg prednisolone 20mg online gabapentin 800mg for saleREPLY
buy lasix 100mg for sale buy furosemide buy stromectol ukREPLY
order hydroxychloroquine 400mg online cheap stromectol 3mg uk ivermectin 12mgREPLY
generic lipitor 80mg order sildenafil 100mg for sale order viagra online cheapREPLY
generic lisinopril amlodipine 10mg tablet buy tadalafil 20mgREPLY
lopressor medication buy vardenafil 10mg generic medrolREPLY
misoprostol 200mcg ca buy generic xenical levothyroxine for saleREPLY
zovirax 800mg sale allopurinol 300mg uk purchase zyloprim genericREPLY
rosuvastatin 10mg usa ezetimibe cheap buy tetracycline genericREPLY
baclofen 25mg uk generic baclofen 25mg order sildenafil 150mg onlineREPLY
order cialis 10mg generic tadalafil 40mg pill order toradol 10mg for saleREPLY
colchicine medication clopidogrel 150mg generic methotrexate 2.5mg oralREPLY
cozaar over the counter imitrex price purchase imitrex pillsREPLY
dutasteride price celebrex 200mg pill zofran usaREPLY
purchase aldactone order valtrex 500mg diflucan 100mg cheapREPLY
order ampicillin 500mg generic purchase ampicillin online order erythromycin 250mg genericREPLY
order sildenafil 100mg pills sildenafil 50mg over the counter robaxin pillsREPLY
suhagra over the counter order generic estradiol 2mg estrace cheapREPLY
buy lamictal 200mg pills retin gel usa order retin saleREPLY
order tadalafil 10mg sale order tadalis 10mg without prescription order diclofenac genericREPLY
isotretinoin 10mg price brand azithromycin order generic zithromax 500mgREPLY
indomethacin drug buy amoxicillin 250mg trimox 250mg over the counterREPLY
buy cialis 5mg online cheap buy tadalafil cialis oral viagraREPLY
buy anastrozole 1 mg pill anastrozole 1mg uk order viagra 50mg for saleREPLY
cialis 10mg sans ordonnance en pharmacie tadalafil 5mg prix viagra 100mg comprimГ©REPLY
purchase deltasone for sale viagra next day brand viagraREPLY
cialis 10mg kaufen ohne rezept sildenafil 100mg fГјr frauen sildenafil 50mg kaufen ohne rezeptREPLY
cheap isotretinoin 40mg cost accutane 10mg ivermectin 3 mg otcREPLY
buy modafinil generic Cialis overnight delivery order diamox saleREPLY
buy doxycycline 200mg purchase levitra pills furosemide 40mg tabletREPLY
altace tablet temovate pills astelin over the counterREPLY
cost clonidine 0.1 mg order catapres without prescription tiotropium bromide drugREPLY
buy buspar 5mg online ditropan 2.5mg drug purchase ditropan without prescriptionREPLY
oral hytrin 5mg actos 15mg ca buy sulfasalazine 500 mg for saleREPLY
alendronate us famotidine 40mg cheap order pepcidREPLY
purchase olmesartan pills order divalproex 500mg generic buy acetazolamide 250 mg saleREPLY
buy prograf sale order requip generic urso costREPLY
imdur online order imdur cheap telmisartan for saleREPLY
buy generic bupropion 150 mg generic bupropion 150mg buy generic quetiapineREPLY
buy molnunat 200mg without prescription order cefdinir sale lansoprazole 30mg tabletREPLY
purchase salbutamol sale viagra pills 50mg female viagra sildenafilREPLY
order tadalafil 20mg sale Buy cialis online without prescription sildenafil for saleREPLY
cialis 5mg pills cheap cialis for sale buy symmetrel pillsREPLY
buy revia sale aripiprazole 30mg canada generic abilify 30mgREPLY
avlosulfon 100 mg over the counter brand nifedipine order perindopril 8mg genericREPLY
order provera sale order hydrochlorothiazide cyproheptadine 4 mg pillREPLY
purchase provigil pill oral provigil 200mg price of ivermectinREPLY
cheap fluvoxamine 50mg buy duloxetine without prescription buy glucotrol 5mg without prescriptionREPLY
isotretinoin 20mg sale buy isotretinoin 40mg pill deltasone 5mg caREPLY
buy piracetam generic buy nootropil 800 mg pill viagra canadaREPLY
purchase zithromax order prednisolone 40mg for sale order neurontin 800mg without prescriptionREPLY
buy tadalafil 5mg canadian cialis and healthcare cost sildenafil 100mgREPLY
furosemide 100mg sale plaquenil 200mg ca order hydroxychloroquine 400mg online cheapREPLY
cost cialis 10mg order generic anafranil order clomipramine 50mgREPLY
chloroquine pills baricitinib 4mg uk baricitinib 4mg costREPLY
order sporanox 100mg generic buy generic tinidazole 500mg order generic tindamax 500mgREPLY
buy glycomet 1000mg online glycomet 500mg sale tadalafil oralREPLY
buy zyprexa 10mg pills generic zyprexa buy valsartan 80mg pillsREPLY
norvasc 10mg oral tadalafil 5mg us cialis overnight deliveryREPLY
cost clozaril 50mg order combivent without prescription order dexamethasone pillREPLY
generic viagra 100mg canadian viagra online pharmacy buy generic lisinopril 5mgREPLY
buy zyvox 600 mg generic free games poker online win real money online casinoREPLY
omeprazole price prilosec 10mg canada casino games real moneyREPLY
buy lopressor 50mg sale cheap atenolol 100mg vardenafil online orderREPLY
how to write an about me essay free spins no deposit casino online blackjack for real money usaREPLY
purchase levitra generic levitra 10mg us methylprednisolone 8 mg oralREPLY
buying a term paper write research paper purchase sildenafil onlineREPLY
clomiphene 100mg drug buy generic albuterol vegas casino onlineREPLY
cialis 40mg viagra 100mg england order sildenafil 50mg without prescriptionREPLY
triamcinolone 10mg over the counter clarinex drug clarinex saleREPLY
order priligy 60mg generic buy priligy 30mg synthroid 75mcg caREPLY
order tadalafil 40mg pills oral sildenafil 50mg brand viagra 50mgREPLY
buy orlistat 120mg for sale zovirax 400mg over the counter acyclovir onlineREPLY
female cialis cvs clopidogrel 150mg sale cheap clopidogrel 150mgREPLY
buy allopurinol 300mg generic allopurinol 100mg pill cost zetiaREPLY
buy methotrexate for sale coumadin canada buy reglan genericREPLY
buy domperidone sale buy tetracycline pills cyclobenzaprine 15mg ukREPLY
buy losartan buy esomeprazole 20mg generic topiramate 100mg oralREPLY
baclofen 10mg canada order baclofen 25mg pills cost toradol 10mgREPLY
imitrex order order avodart 0.5mg avodart 0.5mg usaREPLY
cheap colchicine 0.5mg real money casino games free spins no deposit ukREPLY
buy zantac 300mg pills celecoxib canada celebrex medicationREPLY
blackjack card game play poker online free casino world free casinoREPLY
buy tamsulosin 0.2mg for sale zofran 4mg oral aldactone 25mg for saleREPLY
tadalafil pill order cialis pill cipro 500mg tabletREPLY
buy zocor online proscar order buy finasteride pillREPLY
order metronidazole 200mg sale buy flagyl 400mg for sale sulfamethoxazole over the counterREPLY
order fluconazole 100mg for sale order diflucan sale sildenafil 50mg without prescriptionREPLY
keflex order online order cephalexin 125mg sale erythromycin 250mg ukREPLY
tadalafil 40mg tablet order cialis 5mg online cheap cheap sildenafil pillsREPLY
viagra 100mg drug viagra overnight real cialis pillsREPLY
cefuroxime 250mg cost order cefuroxime 500mg for sale purchase robaxin pillREPLY
play poker online free no sign up roulette game brand tadalafil 5mgREPLY
generic trazodone 50mg order aurogra 100mg without prescription sildenafil tabletREPLY
research paper help online help writing a paper for college cost ivermectinREPLY
sildenafil 100mg england estradiol medication lamotrigine 50mg drugREPLY
buy deltasone 40mg without prescription oral isotretinoin 40mg order amoxil online cheapREPLY
sildenafil price tadalafil 40 mg buy cialis onlineREPLY
online blackjack game buy tadalafil 5mg generic tadalafil 5mg cheapREPLY
zithromax medication order prednisolone 20mg pill neurontin 100mg for saleREPLY
purchase furosemide sale buy plaquenil pills hydroxychloroquine 200mg for saleREPLY
order fildena 100mg online cheap nolvadex cost buy budesonide pillsREPLY
order prednisone 20mg online buy minipress 1mg generic buy vermox pillREPLY
order generic retin gel order retin without prescription avana for sale onlineREPLY
order generic tadacip diclofenac 100mg without prescription indocin 75mg brandREPLY
order lamisil 250mg order amoxicillin pills oral trimox 250mgREPLY
biaxin 250mg price buy antivert without prescription meclizine 25 mg brandREPLY
naproxen 250mg canada buy omnicef 300mg pill lansoprazole 15mg pillsREPLY
buy spiriva pills buy terazosin 1mg generic buy terazosin 1mg saleREPLY
albuterol brand ciprofloxacin 1000mg over the counter ciprofloxacin 1000mg priceREPLY
oral pioglitazone 15mg pioglitazone 30mg uk viagra australiaREPLY
buy montelukast pill viagra mail order usa cost of viagra 100mgREPLY
purchase cialis generic Cialis once daily online gambling gamesREPLY
cialis 20mg pills cialis 20mg generic order cialis 40mg pillREPLY
free casino online slots real money usa poker online gameREPLY
ivermectin new zealand amantadine uk avlosulfon 100 mg canadaREPLY
casino near me online slots for real money play casinoREPLY
order altace 10mg generic amaryl 4mg tablet arcoxia 120mg usREPLY
my friend essay writing buy thesis paper sulfasalazine online buyREPLY
generic doxycycline order generic doxycycline 200mg brand cleocin 150mgREPLY
asacol 400mg pills mesalamine canada irbesartan 300mg costREPLY
purchase temovate without prescription buspar 10mg usa amiodarone usREPLY
order diamox without prescription imdur 20mg sale buy azathioprine 25mg onlineREPLY
order lanoxin 250 mg online cheap buy lanoxin 250 mg generic molnunat 200 mg for saleREPLY
buy coreg 25mg order amitriptyline 50mg pill order elavil 10mg pillREPLY
order amoxicillin 500mg sale amoxil order online stromectol ivermectin tabletsREPLY
alendronate 70mg price order fosamax 70mg online cheap buy motrin 600mg saleREPLY
buy priligy pills buy domperidone 10mg pill motilium brandREPLY
indomethacin oral buy indocin 75mg cenforce pillsREPLY
pepcid 40mg for sale buy tacrolimus without prescription mirtazapine 30mg drugREPLY
order doxycycline 200mg sale buy aralen sale methylprednisolone pills canadaREPLY
buy ropinirole order calcitriol 0.25 mg generic trandate 100 mg oralREPLY
tadalafil 10mg canada buy tadalafil 20mg for sale amoxicillin 250mg over the counterREPLY
tricor 160mg tablet sildenafil 50mg canada order sildenafil 100mg pillREPLY
esomeprazole canada order nexium 40mg pills furosemide 40mg canadaREPLY
order tadalafil 5mg sale Cialis prices viagra 100mg usREPLY
buy minocycline sale purchase terazosin without prescription terazosin buy onlineREPLY
cialis 20mg sale ed remedies buy ed pills usaREPLY
order metformin 500mg pills tamoxifen 10mg sale nolvadex pillsREPLY
buy provigil 200mg without prescription modafinil 100mg without prescription purchase phenergan genericREPLY
clomiphene 50mg canada clomid 50mg canada prednisolone 40mg pillREPLY
deltasone pill order deltasone 20mg pill amoxil 1000mg usaREPLY
accutane 40mg us buy ampicillin sale order ampicillin 250mg without prescriptionREPLY
pills for erection lyrica generic order proscar 1mg genericREPLY
ivermectin tablets buy pills for erectile dysfunction buy prednisone 20mg genericREPLY
oral zofran bactrim 480mg price purchase bactrim pillsREPLY