Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter charge has been reduced, which is a huge victory for Baldwin , who is accused of the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of the Western movie “Rust.”
This month, prosecutors accused Baldwin of involuntary manslaughter and said that he had skipped “required firearms training” and had created “a climate of recklessness” on the set. Prosecutors have said that a firearm enhancement to the charge could have made the crime punishable by a mandatory sentence of five years in prison.
According to fresh court documents made public on Monday, Mary Carmack-Altwies, the First Judicial District Attorney for New Mexico, dropped the enhancement on Friday. Baldwin now has a potential sentence of 18 months in prison if he is found guilty, thanks to the judgement.
“To avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys, the District Attorney and the special prosecutor have removed the firearm enhancement to the involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the ‘Rust’ film set,” DA’s spokesperson Heather Brewer said in a statement. “The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.”
Read More Similar Articles If This One Piques Your Interest:
- James O’keefe Resigns From Project Veritas, Claims The Organization “Lied” About His Dismissal
- Bruce Willis Has Been Diagnosed With Frontotemporal Dementia, Family Says
Baldwin submitted a motion this month, invoking New Mexico’s separation-of-powers law, to have Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor, removed from the case.
Baldwin’s legal team argued that Reeb, a member of the state House of Representatives, should be barred from the prosecutor’s table because the state constitution says a “sitting member of the Legislature may not ‘exercise any powers properly belonging’ to either the executive or judicial branch,” according to a filing with the First Judicial District Court of New Mexico.
State prosecutors also abandoned the gun enhancement against Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the movie’s armorer who was in control of the set’s firearms, and charged her with involuntary manslaughter.
“We applaud the District Attorney’s decision to drop the firearm enhancement, and it was the right call, ethically and on the merits,” her attorney, Jason Bowles, said in a statement.
Attorneys for Baldwin choose not to comment on the most recent development. They had contested the addition, claiming that since it had been made following the incident, it was unconstitutional.
“The prosecutors committed a basic legal error by charging Mr. Baldwin under a version of the firearm-enhancement statute that did not exist on the date of the accident,” the attorneys said in a previous court filing.
Baldwin was rehearsing with a pistol for a scene on Oct. 21, 2021, when the gun went off, killing Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza, officials said. An attorney for Baldwin, Luke Nikas, has called the charges a “terrible miscarriage of justice.” Nikas has previously said the defense would fight the accusations and win.
“Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set,” Nikas has said. “He relied on the professionals with whom he worked.”