The Santa Fe County, New Mexico, district attorney withdrew the gun enhancement charge against actor Alec Baldwin on Monday in the case involving the shooting death of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, giving him a significant legal victory.
Baldwin won’t spend more than 18 months in prison thanks to the dismissed charge, even if he is found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, according to TMZ. Prosecutors would need to demonstrate that Baldwin brandished the gun with the purpose to do injury or intimidate a person in order for him to be found guilty of the gun enhancement allegation.
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According to a representative for First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, the firearm enhancement to the involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the “Rust” film set has been removed “in order to avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys.” The pursuit of justice, not accruing billable hours for big-city attorneys, is the prosecution’s first objective.
According to Fox News, Baldwin would have had to serve a minimum of five years in prison if found guilty with the addition of the firearms enhancement charge. Baldwin’s attorneys contested the accusation earlier this month, claiming it was unlawful.
According to a court document, “The prosecutors made a fundamental legal mistake by prosecuting Mr. Baldwin under a firearm-enhancement statute that did not exist on the date of the accident.”
Involuntary manslaughter charges were brought against Baldwin last month in relation to the shooting death of Hutchins in October 2021. Prosecutors claim that Baldwin “pulled the pistol from the holster, pointed it towards Halyna Hutchins, and shot the firearm,” according to a probable cause statement.
Hutchins passed away on the set, but the actor has insisted that he is not to blame.
Baldwin told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in December 2021, “I feel like someone is accountable for what happened and I can’t tell who that is, but I know it’s not me.” I don’t say it lightly, but I might have killed myself if I had felt guilty.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the alleged gun handler on the set of the movie, is also accused of involuntary manslaughter.
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