Lawyer letter says family of ‘Rust’ shooting victim is asking Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office to remove video illustrative of her death after sustaining fatal injuries 2022-04-27 22:29:45


Hutchins, the cinematographer for the film, killed, killed Director Joel Sousa was injured when a gun touched by actor Alec Baldwin exploded while they were rehearsing a scene at the Bonanza Creek ranch in New Mexico in October.
Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office Export multiple files Officials said Monday of the ongoing investigation into the shooting, including photos, recordings and reports. A video of Hutchins’ death was included in the released statements.

In the letter to the mayor’s office, Brian Banish, the Hutchins family’s attorney, said the release of evidence caused “irreparable” damage to her husband, Matthew Hutchins, and their son.

“Your office trampled on the constitutional rights of the Hutchins family,” reads the letter, dated April 27. “Without any discussion, your office has unilaterally determined that Mr. Hutchins will be granted access to the materials for review early in the morning on Monday, 25 April before being made public later in the afternoon, giving him less than one working day to review the materials.”

Banish wrote that because of the “enormous volume of material”, this was “totally insufficient time”, and the family was not given the opportunity to “request the exercise of discretion, and the revision of sensitive material”.

Moreover, as stated in the letter, the mayor’s office has not redacted Hutchins’ private and personal information. Banish writes that his client fears bullies will use a video showing his wife’s last moments to emotionally abuse their son.

The letter demands that the sheriff’s office respect the “constitutional rights to dignity, privacy, respect, and fairness of the Hutchins family in the future,” and the office is downloading footage of Hutchins “as he dies on church grounds.”

Halyna Hutchins attends the SAGindie Sundance Filmmakers Reception at Terigo Café on January 28, 2019 in Park City, Utah.

“While the harm caused by posting the video is irreparable, deleting the video will end your office’s complicity in causing further harm,” the letter read.

CNN has contacted the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office to confirm receipt of the letter and additional comment.

During an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” ​​on Wednesday, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza defended the release of the material. “We are responding to a public records request, where we are asked to disclose information, and it was also an effort to be transparent in the investigation,” Mendoza said.

He told ABC that the investigation was “nearly completed,” adding that his office was awaiting FBI analysis of firearms ammunition, DNA fingerprints, a report from the medical examiner, and some analysis of cell phone data. His office hopes this will be over in “weeks, not months,” he told GMA.

CNN’s Cheri Mossburg, Josh Campbell and Stella Chan contributed to this report.