What Do Involuntary Manslaughter Charges in Rust Shooting Mean for Alec Baldwin?

It’s been more than a year since a gunshot unexpectedly discharged on the set of the movie Rust. The shot, fired by actor Alec Baldwin, tragically hit and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Now, the actor will be charged with involuntary manslaughter. What do the charges mean, and what potential consequences await Baldwin?

What Happened on Set?

On October 21, 2021, the crew for the movie Rust gathered in a desert outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Actor Alec Baldwin was filming scenes with the crew, including cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Away from the filming location, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer and props assistant, took out a .45 Long Colt, according to reporting by VOX. She looked inside the gun barrel and saw what she believed to be dummy bullets. Gutierrez-Reed gave the gun to assistant director and production safety coordinator David Halls who took the gun to the filming area.

Safety protocols say Gutierrez-Reed was required to check the gun again before it was given to Baldwin to use in a scene. Gutierrez-Reed said she planned to do so, but she wasn’t called to examine the gun a second time. Baldwin wasn’t scheduled to use the gun in the scene, but he picked it up to rehearse an unscheduled scene.

Instead of calling on Gutierrez-Reed when Baldwin went to use the gun, Halls yelled “cold gun,” indicating that the gun wasn’t loaded with live ammunition, then handed the gun to Baldwin.

Baldwin says he pointed the gun and pulled the hammer back when the gun suddenly discharged on its own, hitting Hutchins and Joel Souza, the movie’s director.

Whether or not the gun went off on its own has not been determined. Baldwin stands by his statement that the gun went off on its own. The FBI conducted multiple tests to see if the gun could go off without pulling the trigger, but they were unable to get the gun to go off at all. How the gun went off — and why it contained live ammunition — is still unknown, according to reporting by VOX.

So, who is responsible for the terrible accident?

Who Should Be Responsible?

The fatal gunshot on October 21 wasn’t the first time there were safety issues on the set of Rust. According to a report by the New Mexico Occupational Health & Safety Bureau (OHSB), there were multiple safety issues on set, including two other accidental gun discharges and an incident where a special effects explosive device accidentally exploded.

Lane Luper, one of Hutchins’s camera assistants, quit the day before Hutchins’s death, citing safety violations as one of the reasons in her resignation email. Another crew member quit for similar reasons on the same day.

Producers of the film (which include Baldin) were cited for creating unsafe conditions on set that led to Hutchins’ death. The production company was fined $136,793 by OHSB for workplace safety violations, which is the maximum allowable fine.

Multiple civil lawsuits have also been filed related to the Rust shooting. Most significantly, a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Hutchins’ family against Baldwin, the film’s production companies, its producers, and other key members of the crew was settled.

But until now, no person or group has faced criminal charges.

Related: What’s the Difference Between a Civil and Criminal Case? 

Who Is Being Held Criminally Liable?

On January 21, 2023, prosecutors said they will charge Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Hutchins. The pair will not be arrested, although they will be criminally charged.

Involuntary manslaughter describes cases where the defendant had no intention to kill another person but their actions led to the death of another person. In New Mexico, the charges hold serious consequences.

If convicted, both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed face up to five years or 18 months in prison. If the jury finds the pair guilty, the jury will choose between two types of manslaughter charges. One includes a firearm enhancement and carries a mandatory five-year sentence. Without the firearm enhancement, the pair would face up to 18 months in prison.

Halls, the production safety coordinator, may have been included in the criminal charge, but he chose to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon.

Now Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will have to choose to settle the case out of court or move forward with a trial to attempt to prove they shouldn’t be responsible for Hutchins’ death. They may attempt to point the finger at another person or the production company.

Related: Dealing With the Media During a High-Profile Case: What to Expect

Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged with a crime is a serious situation. If you or someone close to you has been arrested for a crime, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.

TJ Grimaldi has worked with criminal cases of all types and sizes. From minor citations to large-scale cases, he works closely with clients to help them understand the legal process and fight for their innocence. Talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.

A Six-Year-Old Shot His Teacher. Who Is Legally Responsible?

Unfortunately, school shootings aren’t anything new in the United States. But what happened at an elementary school in Virginia was extra tragic and unsettling. A school shooting occurred, and the shooter was only six years old.

What happens when a young child uses a gun to shoot their teacher? And, who is responsible for such a terrible incident?

What Happened in the First-Grade Classroom?

With school back in session after the holidays, 25-year-old Abigail Zwerner was leading her classroom of first graders at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia. Close to twenty students were in her classroom.

Zwerner was interrupted while leading her lesson when a six-year-old boy took a gun out of his backpack and pointed it at her. The boy fired one shot and hit Zwerner twice.

As Zwerner held up her hands, the bullet went through her hand and into her chest.

What Happened After the Shooting?

After being shot, Zwerner quickly moved her students into a classroom across the hall.

According to police reports, another school employee entered the room and attempted to restrain the boy who fired the gun. The boy was being combative and struck the employee. When police arrived, the school employee was physically restraining the young child.

The teacher was taken to the hospital. Zwerner was initially listed in critical condition and is now expected to recover from her injuries.

The six-year-old boy was taken into police custody. He was taken to a hospital for an evaluation and then was held under a temporary detention order.

Now, what will happen to the six-year-old shooter?

Related: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps

Will the Six-Year-Old Face Consequences?

The shooting took place in Virginia and is bound by Virginia law. According to reporting by CNN, Virginia doesn’t have a statutory age limit that would prevent the boy from being charged, but other legal rules may prevent the state from prosecuting the child.

According to the “infancy defense,” very young children are said to be unable to be held liable for a crime. The defense is under the assumption that children cannot have criminal intent in the way that adults can.

Another reason the child may not face charges is that a defendant must be found competent to stand trial in Virginia. The defendant must be able to understand the legal proceedings and assist lawyers in their defense. A six-year-old would be unable to meet this criteria.

It would also be difficult to hold the child in any type of juvenile detention center. In Virginia, children must be 11 to be held in custody at a state facility.

At this time, it seems unlikely that the child will face any legal consequences, although his case could result in required child residential treatment or wraparound support services.

Will the Parents Face Consequences?

According to reporting, the boy lived with his mother who legally purchased the firearm used in the shooting. The question is whether or not the mother could be liable for her child taking the gun and using it to shoot someone.

It isn’t unprecedented for a parent to face consequences after a child finds a gun in the house and uses it to harm others. Our blog has covered two such stories.

mother of a two-year-old faced manslaughter charges when her daughter took an unsecured gun and used it to shoot and kill her father. While this case was believed to be a terrible accident, the mother was charged for her child’s actions.

In another case, the parents of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley faced four counts of involuntary manslaughter after their son took a gun they purchased for him and used it to kill four students at his school.

In those cases, the parents were liable because they did not store the gun safely away from their children. In the case of the six-year-old shooter, the mother could face charges if it’s found that she had the gun in an unsecured location, as reported by FOX News.

According to Virginia Law 18.2-56.2, “any person to recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any child under the age of fourteen,” is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The punishment for a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia is up to twelve months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500.

Whether or not someone will be charged with a crime in the first-grade classroom shooting will depend on Virginia state prosecutors.

If you or someone you know is facing potential legal charges, talk to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to weigh your options and know what to expect. Talk to TJ Grimaldi today. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023.

Related: Misdemeanor vs Felony: What’s the Difference? 

Standing With Victims of Gun Violence

TJ Grimaldi stands with the victims of gun violence. As the Executive Director and Board Member of The Oulson Family Foundation, TJ works to help kids get what they need in the wake of being impacted by gun violence. The Oulson Family Foundation was created to honor the life and legacy of Chad Oulson, whose life ended in a senseless act of gun violence.

Learn more about The Oulson Family Foundation and see how you can also help victims of gun violence.

Is Evidence in the University of Idaho Stabbings Enough to Convict the Suspect?

After nine long weeks, a suspect has been arrested in the brutal killings of four University of Idaho students. Who is the suspected killer, and what evidence is there to tie him to the scene of the crime?

What Happened on That Terrible Night?

On November 13, four friends and students at the University of Idaho went out for a night of fun.

Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20, who were dating, went to a party together at the Sigma Chi frat house. They arrived back at the house where Kernodle lived with her four roommates.

Two of Kernodle’s roommates, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, and Madison Mogen, 21, arrived home shortly after the couple at around 2:00 AM. The lifelong friends had been out at a bar and stopped for food on their way home.

Two other roommates were already in the three-story townhouse and had been home since about 1:00 AM.

At around 4:00 AM, someone else entered the townhome. Likely entering through an unlocked sliding glass door, the person went to the second and third floors of the building and stabbed and murdered Chapin, Kernodle, Mogen, and Goncalves.

The two roommates on the first floor of the townhome were not harmed during the incident.

How Did Police Catch The Suspect?

It took weeks, but police now believe they have the person who committed the heinous murders.

Bryan Kohberger, 28, was arrested and charged with four counts of first degree murder.

Kohberger was arrested at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania where he was visiting them for the holidays. Kohberger is a Ph.D. student at Washington State University studying Criminal Justice and Criminology. Washington State University is less than ten miles from the University of Idaho.

Police believe Kohberger is the killer based on their findings, as reported by the New York Times.

  • Investigators found a tan leather knife sheath at the scene of the crime. DNA from the sheath was tied to DNA collected from Kohberger’s parents’ home in Pennsylvania.
  • Footage from multiple sources shows a white Hyundai Elantra making multiple passes by the house between 3:29 AM and 4:20 AM on the night of the murders. Kohberger’s vehicle matches the description of the white Hyundai Elantra.
  • Phone records show that Kohberger visited the neighborhood of the crime scene 12 times the night before the murders.
  • One of the two surviving roommates said in an affidavit that she saw someone in the house the night of the murder. She said he had on a mask covering his mouth and nose and described him as, “as 5’ 10″ or taller, male, not very muscular, but athletically built with bushy eyebrows.” Kohberger fits the description.

Because Kohberger was arrested in Pennsylvania for charges he faces in Idaho, he needed to be extradited. Kohberger waived his extradition rights in the brief hearing and was moved to the state where he now faces serious charges.

Related: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps

What Charges Does Kohberger Face?

Kohberger has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one charge of felony burglary.

At a press conference, Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said the felony burglary charge  involved, “entering the residence with the intent to commit the crime of murder.” Idaho Code 18-1401 states that “every person who enters any house, room, apartment, tenement, store, shop, warehouse, mill, barn, stable, outhouse, or a building, tent, vessel, vehicle, trailer, airplane, or railroad car with intent to commit any theft or any felony is guilty of burglary.” The maximum penalty for felony burglary is ten years in prison.

But the consequences for the felony burglary pale in comparison to the consequences for the four first degree murder charges.

In Idaho, the maximum penalty for first-degree murder is life in prison or the death penalty.

Related: What Does It Take to Be an Attorney for a High-Profile Case? 

Will Kohberger Be Convicted?

Kohberger’s public defender, Jason LaBar, issued a statement indicating that Kohberger wants to fight the charges. The statement read, “Mr. Kohberger is eager to be exonerated of these charges and looks forward to resolving these matters as promptly as possible.”

While there is growing evidence that ties Kohberger to the murders, there are some big pieces of the picture that are still missing.

There is no murder weapon and no motive.

Kohberger’s legal team may choose to fight to exonerate Kohberger at trial. At this time, it is more likely that they may try to prove that there isn’t enough evidence to convict Kohberger than to try to plead guilty by insanity. Michael McAuliffe, a former federal prosecutor and elected state attorney, told Newsweek that Idaho state law does not allow suspects to plead not guilty by insanity.

We will have to wait and see if more evidence is uncovered and what type of defense Kohberger’s legal team puts together as Kohberger faces life in prison or the death penalty.

Related: Dealing With the Media During a High-Profile Case: What to Expect

Get Trusted Representation in a Criminal Case

All accused criminals deserve fair due process of the law. If you find yourself facing criminal charges, make sure you have an attorney who can fight for your best interests. Talk to a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are charged. To talk to a criminal defense attorney right away,  request your consultation or call 813-226-1023 to schedule a call with TJ Grimaldi today.

Man Charged with First-Degree Murder After Fentanyl He Provided to Women Caused Her Death

A Florida woman overdosed on fentanyl and died. Now, the person who gave her the substance is being charged with first-degree murder.

What happened, and how does Florida law define murder charges for people who provide drugs that turn out to be lethal?

A Fentanyl Overdose Leads to Death

In May 2022, a mother and daughter (whose names have not been released) were driving around Hudson and New Port Richey, Florida with the daughter’s boyfriend, Robert Michelmore. The mother drove the couple to a few locations, including Best Buy.

After their errands, the mother dropped Michelmore off at his home before returning home with her daughter. At that time, the daughter said she was going to watch a movie. Two hours later, the mother went to check on her daughter and found her unresponsive. She called 911, but it was too late. Her daughter had died from a combination of drugs which included fentanyl.

The daughter’s phone was nearby. She had a message from Michelmore that said, “I tried calling you and you wouldn’t answer the phone, how is it?”

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Michelmore later admitted that he put fentanyl in the daughter’s purse while they were at Best Buy. Michelmore had purchased fentanyl the day before, and records show he sent the woman a text at that time saying, “I got some fetty.”

Michelmore later said he warned the woman that the substance was strong and he reportedly told her to only take “a little bit” because he “didn’t want her to die.”

But the woman died, and now, Michelmore is facing the consequences.

Related: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps

Facing First-Degree Murder Charges

In December 2022, Michelmore was arrested and indicted on a charge of “death caused by the unlawful distribution of fentanyl,” according to Pasco County court records.

Florida has a drug-induced homicide law which states that any person supplying drugs to another person can be charged with homicide if the person dies after using the substance. The law is defined under Florida Statute 782.04(1)(a)(3).

It is a first-degree murder charge, which carries the same potential consequences as premeditated murder or a homicide caused while committing a felony. It is the most serious charge of all homicides and is considered a Capital Offense.

Related: How Much Does an Attorney Cost? 8 Factors to Consider

Potential Consequences of First-Degree Murder

In Florida, a conviction of first-degree murder can be punishable by life in prison with no parole. It can also carry the consequence of the death penalty.

It is not very common for prosecutors to seek the death penalty for first-degree murder cases, and it is unlikely Michelmore will face the death penalty. But, the harsh potential consequence shows the severity of the crime committed.

Other Substances Can Lead to First-Degree Murder Charges

Fentanyl is just one type of illegal substance that can lead to a first-degree murder charge if an individual provides it to someone who uses it and dies. According to Florida Statute 782.04(1)(a)(3), the same rules apply to the distribution of:

  • Cocaine
  • Opium or any synthetic or natural salt, compound, derivative, or preparation of opium
  • Methadone
  • Alfentanil
  • Carfentanil
  • Sufentanil
  • Methamphetamine

This list is not exhaustive. The statute also includes, “A controlled substance analog, as described in Florida Statute 893.0356, of any substance specified in sub-subparagraphs a.-i.” The statute includes a long list of other substances that could lead to a first-degree murder charge if their distribution leads to a death.

Michelmore is being held without bail at the Pinellas County jail.

Related: What to Ask During a Free Consultation with a Lawyer

Get the Advice of an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Every person arrested for a crime deserves fair due process as their case weaves its way through the court system. If you have been arrested for a crime and have questions about your case, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can ensure that you get a fair and just outcome. Don’t go blindly into a criminal case. Get a professional by your side. Talk to TJ Grimaldi today. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Settle Divorce, West To Pay $200K in Child Support

When Kim Kardashian and Kayne West announced their split, many speculated what the terms of their divorce might look like. Now, we know. Here are the terms of the divorce that include West paying $200,000 per month in child support.

A Brief History of Kardashian and West’s Relationship

In 2012, Kim Kardashian and Kayne West announced they were dating. The two had known each other since the early 2000s but officially started dating in April 2012. A little more than a year later, the couple welcomed their first child. The couple was then married in 2014 and welcomed three more children over the next five years.

Throughout the years, the couple had public rough patches that often put them in the news. The public incidents peaked in 2020 when West announced he was running for president of the United States.

In February 2021, Kardashian officially filed for divorce from West.

It had been previously reported that Kardashian and West had a prenuptial agreement. According to reports, the prenup outlined how the couple’s assets would be divided, but it didn’t include guidelines for child custody, child support, and spousal support.

Recently, those details were reported after the couple finalized their divorce.

Related: The Legal Case Behind Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Divorce   

The Details of Child Custody

According to details of the divorce settlement, Kardashian and West will share joint custody of their four children: North, 9; Saint, 6; Chicago, 4; and Psalm, 3.

Joint custody provides both parents legal custody, physical custody, or both. Legal custody grants a parent the right to make decisions about how the child will be raised and cared for. Physical custody grants a parent the right to have the child live with them.

While the settlement said each parent has “equal access,” it’s likely that Kardashian will live with the children a majority of the time. West has made comments stating that Kardashian is with the kids roughly 80% of the time.

Related: 5 Types of Child Custody and What They Mean for Your Family   

The Details of Child Support

The divorce settlement also stated that Kardashian will receive $200,000 a month from West for child support. West will also pay 50% of the children’s educational and security expenses.

In divorce cases that involve children, child support payments can be determined by the family, through mediation, or by a judge. It appears that West and Kardashian came to the agreement together. The settlement also included directions for what happens if either party has a dispute with the agreement in the future.

The settlement says if the couple has a dispute over their agreement, they must attend mediation. If either party fails to show up to mediation, the participating party becomes the decision-maker.

Related: 6 Ways to Prepare for Divorce Mediation

The Details of Spousal Support

Per the divorce settlement, neither West nor Kardashian will receive spousal support.

It was previously reported that both West and Kardashian requested a termination of the court’s ability to award spousal support back in April 2021. The recent settlement confirmed that the couple waived spousal support.

Related: 9 Questions to Ask a Divorce Attorney Before Hiring Them 

The Details of Property Division

Kardashian and West had already come to an agreement on how to split their property per a prenuptial agreement. It was reported that their prenup stated:

  • Kardashian and West would each keep the individual assets they had when they entered the marriage
  • Kardashian and West would both keep the individual assets they acquired during their marriage
  • Kardashian would receive $1 million for each year she was married to West (capped at $10 million)
  • Their primary residence would be in Kardashian’s name
  • Kardashian would keep all of the jewelry and gifts given to her by West

Since the details of property division were already outlined, the couple only needed to resolve their family matters for the divorce to be finalized. Now, it appears that all details of their divorce are settled.

Related: What Happens After Divorce Papers Are Served?

How to Navigate a Complex Divorce

Divorce can be complicated. Between splitting up assets and coming to agreements on child support, child custody, and spousal support, a couple has a lot to think about.

If you’re going through a divorce, make sure you have a divorce attorney by your side who can help you consider all of your options and come out with the best possible outcome for everyone involved.

If you’d like to discuss your marital split, talk to TJ Grimaldi. TJ is an experienced family law attorney who can help you terminate your divorce while also setting up agreements for splitting up assets and creating arrangements for your family. Schedule your consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.

Handyman Sues Johnny Knoxville Over Prank That Caused Emotional Distress

Johnny Knoxville is known for his pranks. As the star of the “Jackass” franchise, Knoxville and his crew often perform pranks and stunts that put them in uncomfortable, embarrassing, or even dangerous situations.

But one of their pranks may have gone too far, and it led to a lawsuit.

What did Knoxville do, and will he be liable for damages?

A Prank Gone Too Far?

Khalil Khan is a freelance electrician in California who finds work through the Taskrabbit app.

According to Variety, Khan received a request to repair an electric dimmer switch at a private home. When Khan arrived at the home, he met a man who threatened to beat him up if he didn’t do the job right. Khan started to work on the dimmer switch when a lamp went out and a ten-year-old girl came into the room. The girl told him he made the power go out and killed her horse which was on life support in another room.

The ten-year-old was an actor involved in the prank put on by Knoxville and his team.

Khan was then brought into a room, which appeared to have a pony hooked up to machines. From there, Khan could see out the window, and his car was being towed. When Khan said he wanted to call the cops, a man pulled out a bag of white powder and told Khan he would get in trouble because his vehicle had cocaine in it.

Khan said he was “horrified” by the incident.

Knoxville eventually disclosed to Khan that he was being pranked. Knoxville was filming the prank for his new series “The Prank Patrol,” an ABC comedy series set to premiere in 2023.

Knoxville offered Kahn money for his participation, but rather than take the money, Khan filed a lawsuit.

Related: Types of Personal Injury Cases: Do You Have a Claim? 

Handman Files Emotional Distress Lawsuit

Khan filed a lawsuit in Long Beach Superior Court that alleges that he was put into a state of panic by the prank. He is seeking damages for emotional distress, worry, anxiety, and possible harm to his business reputation.

The lawsuit states, “In the span of just minutes, he had been threatened with being beaten up, told he botched the repair job, accused of murdering a pony, had his car taken without his permission, and was now being told that he would be arrested for possession of illicit narcotics.”

“He has been badly shaken and traumatized by this episode,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit claims that Khan has suffered lack of sleep, anxiety, and emotional distress. It is not clear what damages the lawsuit seeks.

Related: 6 of the Most Commonly Asked Questions About Personal Injury 

Can You Sue for Emotional Distress?

The lawsuit is filed in California and will abide by California law. California allows victims to sue for infliction of emotional distress (IIED).

In Florida, a victim could file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court to sue for emotional distress. While it can be more difficult to prove emotional injury than physical injury, victims can seek damages if the negligence of another party led to their suffering.

To win a case for emotional distress, the victim would need to prove fault for a personal injury case. The plaintiff would need to prove two things.

  • The defendant created a situation that led to emotional distress. The defendant intentionally created the situation or created the situation due to negligence.
  • The emotional distress led to damages. The distress led to compensation damages (such as the cost for medical bills, loss of earnings, etc.) and/or general compensatory damages, also known as “pain and suffering” compensation.

In Khan’s situation, he may have a case if he can prove that the prank led to emotional distress which needed to be treated by medical doctors or led to the loss of income. He may also be able to show that he lost business due to damage to his business reputation.

Khan and Knoxville could settle the case out of court, or the case will continue to wind its way through the legal system.

Related: Want to Sue for Personal Injury? Take These 4 Steps  

Fight for Your Rights

If you experience harm due to the negligence or maliciousness of another person, you deserve to be made whole. Whether the harm is physical or emotional, you can fight to get to what is owed to you.

Talk to a personal injury attorney about your options for collecting damages to recover from financial, physical, or emotional harm that was caused to you or your business.

To get answers to any of your personal injury questions, talk to TJ Grimaldi. TJ is an experienced personal attorney offering free consultations to discuss personal injury cases. Talk to TJ today about your case. Request your appointment or call 813-226-1023 now.

Breaking Down the Multiple Lawsuits of Alec Baldwin’s Rust Shooting

It’s been more than a year since actor Alec Baldwin fired a gun on the set of the movie Rust and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Since then, there have been multiple investigations and lawsuits.

What’s the status of each case, and what does it mean for the shooter?

The Shooting

October 21, 2021, was a fairly normal day on the set of the movie Rust. The crew was filming on location in Santa Fe, New Mexico and preparing for a scene which featured a close-up of Baldwin drawing a .45 revolver from a shoulder holster. According to reports, the movie’s first assistant director, Dave Halls, called out “cold gun” and handed the revolver to Baldwin, who is a star of the movie and also one of its producers.

Baldwin moved to practice the cross-draw motion, and the gun went off.

It discharged live ammunition that hit Halyna Hutchins, the movie’s cinematographer, and Joel Souza, the movie’s director. Hutchins died from her injuries.

The Script Supervisor’s Civil Lawsuit

In November 2021, the first legal action over the shooting took place. The movie’s script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell filed a civil lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the producers of the film, including Mr. Baldwin, and several members of its crew.

The lawsuit claims assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and deliberate infliction of harm, and requested unspecified damages. As reported by the New York Times, the lawsuit said, “Alec Baldwin intentionally, without just cause or excuse, cocked and fired the loaded gun even though the upcoming scene to be filmed did not call for the cocking and firing of a firearm.”

The case is weaving its way through the court system (more on its status later in this post).

Related: Types of Personal Injury Cases: See If You Have a Claim   

The Hutchins’ Family Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In February 2022, Hutchins’ family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Santa Fe, New Mexico, against Baldwin, the film’s production companies, its producers, and other key members of the crew. It alleged numerous industry-standard violations, according to reports.

In October 2022, the family reached a settlement. While all the details haven’t been released, Halyna Hutchins’s husband Matthew Hutchins shared some of the details of the settlement in a statement.

Matthew Hutchins indicated that the wrongful death case will be dismissed, filming of the movie will resume, and he will now serve as an executive producer, which means he will receive a portion of the film’s profits.

As for assigning blame to Baldwin, Matthew Hutchins said, “I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame.”

Related: How Do You Sue for Wrongful Death? 

The Criminal Investigation

In October 2022, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department said it completed its criminal investigation into the shooting. It delivered its investigative report but didn’t publicly disclose whether it had recommended charges be filed.

According to Forbes, it’s now up to New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and her team to decide whether or not to bring charges. It was reported that the New Mexico Board of Finance granted the DA’s office over $300,000 to be used to possibly prosecute up to four people.

At this time, no charges have been filed.

Related: Will Alec Baldwin Face Criminal Charges in Movie Set Shooting?   

The Baldwin Cross-Complaint

In November 2022, Baldwin filed his own lawsuit related to the shooting. He filed a cross-complaint to the lawsuit filed by script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell.

According to reports, the cross-complaint is against the production’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, assistant director David Halls, prop master Sarah Zachry, armorer assistant Seth Kenney, and the prop weapon and ammunition supply store company Kenney owns.

All four of the individuals included in the cross-complaint were also named as defendants, along with Baldwin, in Mitchell’s lawsuit. Baldwin’s cross-complaint says Baldwin is being seen as the “perpetrator of this tragedy,” and it was filed to “clear” Baldwin’s name.

It outlines what Baldwin’s team believes is the misconduct of others on the set. The lawsuit says, “This tragedy happened because live bullets were delivered to the set and loaded into the gun, Gutierrez Reed failed to check the bullets or the gun carefully, Halls failed to check the gun carefully and yet announced the gun was safe before handing it to Baldwin, and Zachry failed to disclose that Gutierrez Reed had been acting recklessly off set and was a safety risk to those around her.”

Baldwin is suing for damages and asking for indemnification from legal damages that might arise from Mitchell’s case. We’ll have to wait and see what happens in Mitchell’s original lawsuit as well as Baldwin’s cross-complaint.

Related: What’s the Difference Between a Civil and Criminal Case? 

Have a Trusted Attorney by Your Side

One incident can lead to a variety of lawsuits and investigations. If you are involved in a legal matter, make sure you have an attorney by your side who can handle whatever issues come your way.

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How Did Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen Get Divorced So Quickly?

After weeks of speculation, it turned out the rumors were true. Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen were getting a divorce.

Once the couple announced the news, it was over fast. The divorce was filed and finalized. How did the famous couple expedite their divorce and get through the process so quickly?

A Quick Brady-Bündchen History

Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen have both created fame and wealth in their own right. Brady is hailed as the greatest NFL quarterback of all time, having won seven Super Bowls and earned a net worth of $250 million. Bündchen is one of the highest-paid supermodels in the world with an estimated net worth of $400 million.

The couple married in 2009 and grew their celebrity and wealth during their 13 years of marriage. But in 2022, their romance came to an end.

Related: What Would a Tom Brady / Gisele Bundchen Divorce Look Like?

Bündchen Hired Divorce Attorneys

On October 4, 2022, PEOPLE reported that Bündchen hired divorce lawyers. Bündchen and Brady reportedly had problems after Brady retired and then un-retired from the NFL.

Bündchen took the first step in ending the marriage by meeting with divorce attorneys in Florida.

When a spouse has their first meeting with a divorce attorney, they are either thinking about filing for divorce or they have been served with divorce papers. During the first meeting with a divorce attorney, the spouse begins to make a divorce plan. They review:

  • Financial information such as bank statements, credit card statements, account information, tax returns, and loan documents
  • Identification for any children involved
  • A list of assets and debts
  • A timeline of the marriage
  • Any prenuptial agreement documentation

From there, the divorce process is usually officially started.

Brady Hired Divorce Attorneys

Just one day after Bündchen hired divorce attorneys, it was reported that Brady did the same. Brady wasn’t served with divorce papers, but he retained his own representation in anticipation of the pending divorce.

If Brady had been served with divorce papers, he would have had 20 days to take the next step. In Florida, after divorce papers are served, you have up to 20 days to file an answer which presents your side of the case.

But, Bündchen didn’t file for divorce on her own or serve Brady with divorce papers. Instead, the couple filed for divorce together.

Related: How to File for Divorce in Florida 

Brady and Bündchen Filed for Divorce Together

On October 28, 2022, Bündchen and Brady filed and finalized a petition for the dissolution of marriage together in Florida.

Because Bündchen and Brady filed for divorce together, neither party needed to be served with divorce papers or file an answer. The divorce was considered “uncontested,” and it didn’t need to go through the court system.

Contested divorces, when parties don’t agree on the terms of the divorce, can lead to meditation and even a trial which can take months or even years to resolve. But, Bündchen and Brady avoided the lengthy divorce legal process.

According to reports, their petition for the dissolution of their marriage noted that the couple had “entered into a marital settlement agreement three days earlier,” which is said to have included a “parenting plan.” By having this agreement, the couple was able to file and finalize their divorce on the same day.

The details of their agreement haven’t been revealed publicly, but it’s been speculated that the couple had a prenuptial agreement that made their divorce easier to finalize. The agreement would have included arrangements for:

  • Asset and liability distribution. The couple would have had a plan to break up their assets, property, and debt. They would have broken up their wealth and large properties, such as the three homes they own together.
  • Alimony. The couple would have determined whether or not one of them would receive spousal support.
  • Child support. The couple shares two minor children (Benjamin Rein, 12, and Vivian, 9) and also co-parent Brady’s son with his ex (John Edward, 15). They would need to determine if one party should provide child support payments to the other.
  • Child custody. Additionally, the couple would need to determine the type of child custody agreement and set guidelines for how much parenting time each would get with the children.

Had Bündchen and Brady not had a prenuptial agreement, they could have gone through divorce mediation to create an agreement to speed up their divorce. But, it likely would have taken longer than the process set in motion by having a prenup.

Bündchen and Brady were able to quickly get through the divorce process and finalize it within a few months of deciding to split, likely due to having a detailed prenup they agreed upon before they got married in 2009.

Related: How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce?

Find a Divorce Attorney in Florida

With the right planning and divorce attorney by your side, you can get through your divorce with less stress on everyone involved. If you need advice about how to best navigate an upcoming split, contact TJ Grimaldi today.

TJ can help you determine the best path for you and your family while ensuring that you get what is owed to you. Schedule your free consultation or call 813-226-1023 today to talk with TJ.