Halyna Hutchins’ husband has hired an L.A.-based law firm that specializes in personal injury and wrongful-death suits.
Matthew Hutchins, husband of the late “Rust” cinematographer, has enlisted the legal counsel of Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi, with Brian Panish acting as lead lawyer, a spokesperson for the family told The Times on Wednesday, adding that Hutchins “remains focused on taking care of his son and processing his grief.”
A spokesman for the law firm confirmed that it had been retained by the Hutchins family but declined to comment on any plans to file suit.
“Respecting Mr. Hutchins’ request for privacy as the family grieves the loss of Halyna Hutchins, the firm will not be making any statements at this time,” the firm said.
Matthew Hutchins is himself a lawyer, working in corporate law out of the L.A. office of Latham & Watkins. He previously worked in entertainment law, according to Reuters. He has a 9-year-old son, Andros.
As the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and district attorney continue their investigation into the “Rust” production in New Mexico, no criminal charges have yet been filed.
The attorney for Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer responsible for all guns on the “Rust” set, released a statement late Wednesday defending his client’s actions Oct. 21, when a gun held by actor Alec Baldwin was fired during rehearsal of a scene.
“Never in a million years did Hannah think that live rounds could have been in the ‘dummy’ Round box,” said Gutierrez Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles. “Who put those in there and why is the central question.” The statement added that Gutierrez Reed handed the firearm to assistant director Dave Halls, “spinning the cylinder and showing him all of the rounds and then handing him the firearm.”
The new statement followed appearances on morning news programs in which Gutierrez Reed’s attorneys floated the possibility of sabotage and suggested that someone intentionally smuggled live rounds of ammunition into a box of dummy rounds.
Here is the full text of Bowles’ Wednesday night statement:
“Hannah Gutierrez Reed would like to add a few points to the continuing narrative on the tragic events surrounding the shooting on the ‘Rust’ set. First, Hannah was incredibly safety conscious and took her job very seriously from the moment she started on October 4th. She did firearms training for the actors as well as Mr. Baldwin, she fought for more training days and she regularly emphasized to never point a firearm at a person. Never in a million years did Hannah think that live rounds could have been in the ‘dummy’ Round box. Who put those in there and why is the central question.
“Hannah kept guns locked up, including throughout lunch on the day in question, and she instructed her department to watch the cart containing the guns when she was pulled away for her other duties or on a lunch break. Hannah did everything in her power to ensure a safe set. She inspected the rounds that she loaded into the firearms that day. She always inspected the rounds. She did again right before handing the firearm to Mr. Halls, by spinning the cylinder and showing him all of the rounds and then handing him the firearm.
“No one could have anticipated or thought that someone would introduce live rounds into this set.”
Times staff writers Anousha Sakoui, Laura Nelson and Jessica Gelt contributed to this report.