Judge OKs Regulators’ Subpoena for ‘Rust’ Assistant Director

Judge OKs Regulators’ Subpoena for ‘Rust’ Assistant Director
A photo of cinematographer Helyna Hutchins is displayed before a news conference by attorney Gary Dordick and his client Serge Svetnoy, chief of lighting on the "Rust" film set, to announce a lawsuit against Alec Baldwin and others in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Nov. 10, 2021. (Damian Dovarganes, File/AP Photo)

SANTA FE, N.M.—The assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin a prop gun that killed a cinematographer on a New Mexico film set must make himself available for an interview with state workplace safety regulators, a judge has decided.

District Judge Bryan Biedscheid on Friday granted a request by the Occupational Health and Safety Bureau of the state Environment Department to issue a subpoena to Dave Halls, assistant director for the movie “Rust,” local news outlets reported.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was wounded in the Oct. 21 shooting on the Bonanza Creek Ranch film set near Santa Fe.

Safety officials tried twice since Nov. 2 to interview Halls for their investigation but he declined both times through his attorney and said he wouldn’t agree to an interview until a criminal investigation into the shooting is complete, a compliance officer wrote Wednesday in an affidavit in support of the subpoena request.

The interview with Halls is needed because he had responsibilities for set safety, knew who was present during the shooting, and had handled the gun, the application said.

Rebecca Roose, deputy cabinet secretary of the Environment Department, told the Santa Fe New Mexican that the department proposed a Tuesday interview but that the judge could set another date or Halls’s attorney could fight the subpoena.

Halls’s attorney, Lisa Torracco, on Saturday did not immediately respond to a voicemail left by The Associated Press seeking comment.

However, KOB-TV reported that Torraco told the station that Halls will cooperate with state investigators.

Baldwin has said he didn’t know the gun contained a live round and that investigators must find out who put it in the weapon.

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