September 30, 2022

Family of victim in ‘Rust’ shooting demands Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office remove graphic video of her dying after being fatally injured, attorney letter says

3 min read


Hutchins, film cinematographer, Was killed And director Joel Souza was injured when actor Alec Baldwin’s gun went off while he was rehearsing a scene at Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico in October.
Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office Release several files. Authorities said an investigation into Monday’s shooting was ongoing, including photos, recordings and reports. The released data includes a video of Hutchins’ death.

In a letter to the sheriff’s office, Hutchins’ family lawyer Brian Punch said the release of the evidence had caused “irreparable damage” to her husband, Matthew Hutchins, and their son.

“Your office violates Hutchinson’s constitutional rights,” letter dated April 27. “Without further ado, your office unilaterally agreed that Mr. Hutchins will be given access to the material for review on Monday morning, April 25, and will be released to the public later in the afternoon, and They will be given less than one business day to review the content. ”

Due to the “sheer amount of material”, it was “completely insufficient amount of time”, and the family was not given the opportunity to “request discretionary use and correct sensitive material,” Punch wrote. Wrote

At the top of the letter, the letter states that the sheriff’s office has not changed Hutchins’ personal information. Punch wrote that his client feared that his wife’s last-minute video could be used by bullies to emotionally abuse his son.

The letter called on the sheriff’s office to respect Hutchins ‘family’s “constitutional right to dignity, privacy, respect and justice” and to release footage of Hutchins’ “dying on the church floor.”

Halina Hutchins attends the SAGindie Sundance Filmmakers' Reception on January 28, 2019 at Cafe Terigo in Park City, Utah.

The letter states that “although the loss of video publishing is irreparable, the removal of the video will eliminate the interference of your office in further damages.”

CNN has contacted the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office to receive the letter and confirm additional comments.

In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” ​​on Wednesday, Santa Fe County Sheriff Eden Mendoza defended the release. “We are responding to a request for a public record where we need to release information, and this was an attempt to be transparent in the investigation,” Mendoza said.

He told ABC that the investigation was “nearing completion”, adding that his office was investigating the FBI’s analysis of firearms, DNA prints, a medical examiner’s report, and some cell phone data. waiting. His office hopes it will be “in weeks, not months,” he told GMA.

The sheriff’s office said the evidence released was “text-related”.

In the evidence files released by the sheriff’s office, text messages “Rust” armor Hannah Gutierrez Reid shared with the ammunition supplier for the previous film in 2021 – not “Rust” – where she He said he had planned to shoot live ammunition while on the set. .

Mendoza called the text messages “relevant” in an interview with NBC’s “Today” on Tuesday and said investigators were looking into who brought the live ammunition to the “rust” seat.

Sheriff discusses 'relevant' investigations into 'rust' text messages

“So far no one was able to send in the perfect solution, which is not strange.” It was used on the set of the movie. It was just a few months before the set production of ‘Xing’ movie started, so it is related, “Mendoza said.

A law enforcement official told CNN that he considers text exchanges important because he seeks to determine whether Armor practiced live-fire at the time when he was in charge of seat safety. There was a tree.

Guttierez Red’s attorney, Jason Boles, told CNN that his client wanted to fire the gun to understand how the historic weapon works and maintains that it did not fire directly at the set.

CNN’s Cherry Mossberg, Josh Campbell and Stella Chen contributed to this report.



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