Mary Carmack-Altwies is the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney who is filing involuntary manslaughter charges against actor Alec Baldwin in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, according to the district attorney’s press release.
In a press release posted to her Facebook page, Carmack-Altwies announced the charges along with a special prosecutor. She wrote that they were “in keeping with her commitment to pursue justice for all victims and to hold everyone accountable under the law.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Mary Carmack-Altwies Has Worked as Both a Public Defender & a Prosecutor in the Past
Carmack-Altwies has worked as both a deputy district attorney and a public defender in the past, according to her biography.
“Mary’s work in criminal law crosses both sides of the aisle. Prior to being elected as District Attorney, Mary has served as a public defender and a Deputy District Attorney,” it reads.
“Additionally, she has had her own law firm while raising a young family.”
Her LinkedIn page says she owned Mary V. Carmack Law.
2. Mary Carmack-Altwies, a Democrat Who Took Office in 2021, Has Had Previous Controversies Involving Destruction of an Obelisk
According to Ballotpedia, Carmack-Altwies is a Democrat who assumed office on January 1, 2021.
In 2021, The Sante Fe New Mexican reported that Carmack-Altwies was defending “her decision to divert nearly all the defendants charged in the destruction of the Plaza obelisk into a pre-prosecution probation program.”
She told the newspaper that the crime was “a political problem that got forced upon the criminal justice system.”
Carmack-Altwies’s jurisdiction as district attorney covers a three-county area that includes Santa Fe, the newspaper reported, adding that the obelisk was “long a lightning rod for controversy among Native American activists and their allies” and “was felled on Indigenous Peoples Day by a group of protesters with chains and straps.”
In July 2022, according to The Santa Fe New Mexican, she “agreed to pay $25,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a man who said being blocked from her office’s Facebook page was a violation of his right to free speech.”
Local real estate investor Aaron Borrego is “an outspoken critic of Carmack-Altwies’ handling of criminal cases related to the felling of the Plaza obelisk in 2020,” the newspaper reported.
“It is clear that the District Attorney believes our laws do not apply to her,” Borrego wrote in an email to the newspaper. “Thankfully, the courts and corresponding settlements prove otherwise.”
3. The District Attorney Announced That She Will Be Charging Baldwin With Two Counts of Involuntary Manslaughter
“Rust” actor and producer Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed “will each be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the film’s Santa Fe County set in 2021,” the release says.
Baldwin’s lawyer has vowed to fight the charges, according to ABC News.
Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, wrote in a statement to ABC News, “This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice. Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”
Baldwin faces up to a mandatory five years in jail, if convicted, due to a firearm enhancer, the release says.
4. Mary Carmack-Altwies Is Married to a Retired Law Enforcement Officer
According to her website biography, Carmack-Alties “lives in Santa Fe with her wife Jo, a retired law enforcement officer, and their two energetic young children.”
The biography notes:
The community of the First Judicial District has always been important to Mary. Outside of the courtroom, Mary has served as President of her local PTA, taught at UNM Law School, been a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and served as a legal advocate for survivors of sexual assault.
Carmack-Altwies is a “proud graduate from the University of New Mexico law school,” the biography says. “She has spent her professional career dedicated to protecting safety of peope in the First Judicial District and providing justice for victims of crimes.”
5. Carmack-Altwis Wrote That ‘No One Is Above the Law’ on Her Watch
“After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the ‘Rust’ film crew,” Carmack-Altwies said in the news release. “On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”
Assistant director David Halls “has signed a plea agreement for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. The terms include a suspended sentence and six months of probation. A copy of the plea agreement will be available after it has been filed with the court,” according to the release.
“No charges will be filed specific to the non-fatal shooting of ‘Rust’ director Joel Souza,” Carmack-Altwies wrote.
READ NEXT: The Life of Halyna Hutchins.
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