LOS ANGELES, United States - The safety coordinator on the Alec Baldwin film "Rust" was convicted Friday of unsafe handling of a firearm and sentenced to six months' probation for his part in the fatal on-set shooting of its cinematographer.
The verdict was the result of a plea deal and means Dave Halls, who was also assistant director of the low-budget Western, becomes the first conviction over the accident, for which Baldwin faces manslaughter charges.
Halls handed Baldwin the loaded gun in October 2021 which ultimately discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding the film's director, Joel Souza.
Under the plea agreement, 63-year-old Halls will serve no jail time, but must complete six months of unsupervised probation.
Halls had told Baldwin the gun was "cold" -- industry speak for safe.
According to court filings, the film's armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed loaded the gun and handed it to Halls, who then checked the firearm to ensure that the bullets were "dummy" rounds -- meaning they held no gunpowder.
Prosecutor Kari Morrissey, during the hearing Friday, described Halls as the "last line of defense" on the set, saying he failed to "check every round that was in the gun to confirm that it was a dummy round."
Both Baldwin -- a co-producer and the lead actor -- and Gutierrez-Reed, who was responsible for the weapons on set, face two alternative counts of voluntary manslaughter.
If found guilty, they face up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Baldwin, 64, has repeatedly said he was told by the crew that the gun was not loaded.
In accepting the deal on Friday, Halls agreed to testify in any future proceedings related to the matter.
A weeks-long preliminary hearing is set to begin in early May for Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed.
The accident sent shockwaves through Hollywood and led to calls for a total ban of real guns on set.
Industry experts have said there are already stringent safety rules in place, but that they were ignored.