Miguel Custodio tells the LA Times: Settling civil case with cinematographer’s family was good strategy for Alec Baldwin’s criminal defense

Nearly one year after Alec Baldwin fatally shot Halyna Hutchins on set of the movie ‘Rust’ with a prop firearm, the actor and Hutchins’ family have reached an undisclosed settlement.

Matthew Hutchins, the late cinematographer’s husband, released a statement announcing the dismissal of the wrongful death lawsuit between the Hutchins family and Baldwin. In response, the Santa Fe district attorney’s office made it clear that this decision has no effect on its ongoing investigation.

A week prior to the shocking settlement, news broke of Santa Fe DA Mary Carmack-Altweis’ request for $635,000 in emergency funding to prosecute up to four defendants on homicide charges, including Baldwin.

To explain the DA’s request, co-founding partner Miguel Custodio told Nicki Swift, “It clearly sounds like they're preparing for the prosecution of more serious criminal charges, such as manslaughter or criminal negligence. I've always thought that the longer the investigation took, the more likely it is that Baldwin will be hit with a weighty charge.”

After last week’s settlement, Custodio spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the potential reasoning behind halting the civil case, “Information that will come from discovery, witnesses, depositions, subpoenas, anything like that, can only hurt [Baldwin] in a criminal case, so I think them shutting down this civil case was an extremely smart move.”

Custodio also told The Independent, “The less information out there helps limit his criminal exposure, and as far as his career goes, that may be the more important case.”

Filming for the movie is set to continue in January 2023 with Matthew as an executive producer. According to The Independent, the decision on whether charges will be filed is expected in the next few weeks.

Read more of Custodio’s legal analysis of the ‘Rust’ set shooting on our website’s media page.