Assistant director of ‘Rust’ becomes first person to be convicted of murder on the film set

Alec Baldwin to resume filming of 'Rust' at Yellowstone Ranch in Montana

Image of Bonanza Creek ranch in santa Fe, New Mexico. Credit: Google maps - Bonanza Creek Ranch

David Holes, the assistant director of the film ‘Rust’, was convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and sentenced to six months probation.

David Holes, an assistant director of the film ‘Rust’, has become the first person to be convicted as a result of the fatal shooting that occurred on the set of the Western film. As reported this Friday, March 31, by Variety magazine, Holes was charged with the involuntary manslaughter of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during filming.

During a court hearing in Santa Fe, New Mexico – which he attended remotely – Holes pleaded no contest to a misdemeanour charge of the negligent use of a deadly weapon. When asked how he wished to plea, he answered, “No contest, your honour”.

The director’s assistant – who was also the film’s safety coordinator – was sentenced to six months probation. He had previously made a deal with prosecutors for negligent firearms charges that would see him serve his sentence on probation.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled to take place in May, where Holes is expected to testify. Prosecutors will pursue their cases of involuntary manslaughter charges against actor Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the film’s armourer.

On October 21, 2021, during a rehearsal on the set of Rust on location at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Sante Fe, actor Alec Baldwin fired a Colt .45 that turned out to be loaded with live ammunition, not blanks. Hutchins and director Joel Souza were injured. The latter was discharged from the hospital a few hours later, but the doctors failed to save the life of the cinematographer.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at