Just over a year following the tragic Rust movie set shooting resulting in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, Alec Baldwin is facing much different charges. The actor initially faced a potential sentence of five years in prison for breaking a New Mexico firearm enhancement law, along with 18 months in jail if convicted of involuntary manslaughter. The prosecution, however, recently chose to drop the firearm enhancement statute from the case.
In a statement provided to IndieWire, New Mexico DA spokesperson Heather Brewer explained the reason behind the decision. “In order 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,” the DA spokesperson said. “The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.”
According to IndieWire, Baldwin’s team filed a motion to remove the firearm enhancement charges from the case in early February. New Mexico’s firearm enhancement law did not go into effect until May 2022, roughly seven months following the October 2021 shooting. Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armorer, now face charges of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Halyna Hutchins.
Hutchins’ widower, Matt Hutchins, has spoken about the pain and frustration he and the couple’s son have experienced since Halyna’s tragic death. “The idea that the person holding the gun causing it to discharge is not responsible, is absurd to me,” Matt said in a February 2022 interview with Today host Hoda Kotb. “But gun safety was not the only problem on that set. There were a number of industry standards that were not practiced and there’s multiple responsible parties.”
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed’s arraignment is scheduled for Friday, Feb 24.
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