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‘Rust’ assistant director subpoenaed to interview with state’s workplace safety investigation

By Kay Jones, CNN

“Rust” assistant director David Halls must be interviewed by the New Mexico Environment Department as part of its workplace safety investigation after the shooting on the movie set that killed Halyna Hutchins, according to a subpoena issued by a state judge.

Court documents provided to CNN by affiliate KOAT show that Halls must appear for the interview on December 14 at 10 a.m. (noon ET).

Halls is “a very important witness” in the investigation, and the department is continuing to push to conduct that interview as soon as possible, Rebecca Roose of NMED told CNN.

“The Occupational Health and Safety Bureau will attempt to interview as many witnesses as it deems necessary as our investigation proceeds,” Roose said.

Hutchins, a cinematographer, was shot on the set in October when actor Alec Baldwin was demonstrating a cross draw — pulling a gun from a holster on the opposite side of his body from his draw hand — during rehearsal.

The department is in the process of serving him and his attorney with the subpoena, according to Roose.

Halls’ attorney, Lisa Torraco, told CNN in an email that he is “happy to cooperate” with the investigation.

Failure to comply with the subpoena would result in Halls being held in contempt of court and a possible fine or imprisonment, court records show.

CNN has reached out to the attorney for Rust Movie Productions.

The investigation is separate from the criminal investigation being conducted by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Adan Mendoza said in late October that Halls and armorer Hannah Gutierrez were the focus of the criminal investigation.

According to Torraco, some witnesses have said the armorer brought the firearm to the set, another crew member checked the firearm, and then Halls checked the firearm “like a pass-through” and handed it to Baldwin “because he was between the two.”

Torraco said Halls wasn’t required to check the gun.

“Expecting an assistant director to check a firearm is like telling the assistant director to check the camera angle or telling the assistant director to check sound or lighting,” Torraco said.

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