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Alec Baldwin to be charged in fatal ‘Rust’ shooting

CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig said the “Rust” fatal shooting case is not clear-cut negligence and includes factual issues.

First of all, Honig said, New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies told CNN that she doesn’t know — and “we might not ever know” — how live rounds got onto the set.

“That’s a major factual issue. The defense lawyer is going to stand in front of a jury someday and say, ‘They want you to convict my client and they can’t even tell you how those live rounds got there,'” Honig told CNN’s Victor Blackwell and Alisyn Camerota.  

Secondly, the incident happened on a movie set, and “most normal people do not know what the norms are on a movie set,” he said.

So the expertise of prop masters are heavily relied upon, but even those experts have different views on what the obligations of actors and crew members are on set, Honig said.

“Remember, this is a criminal case. You need all 12 jurors to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. So I’m not saying that there’s no chance here, but this is a really difficult case for the prosecution,” he added.

Honig also said he was “stunned” that the district attorney decided to charge Alec Baldwin as both an actor and producer.

“Those are completely different factual and legal scenarios,” Honig said.

“The question about a producer — that gets into the questions of what exactly was Alec Baldwin’s job, what were his responsibilities as it relates to the many other directors, producers, professionals on that set — and look, sometimes people are producers in name … but are not actually in charge of things in a hands-on way,” he continued.

“All of these are complex factual issues. … This is not a civil proceeding. This is a criminal proceeding. There is the highest burden in our legal system on prosecutors. They have to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and unanimously to the jury. It’s never easy, and I think it’s going to be particularly difficult here,” he added.

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