Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ Charges, Prison Sentence Reduced

Prosecutors dropped a gun enhancement charge against Baldwin, after the actor’s lawyers argued the law passed after the shooting.

Alec Baldwin‘s accusations in the fatal “RustThe movie set shooting case was significantly downgraded, after the prosecution elected to drop the New Mexico Gun Improvement Act violation from the case. Amended charges against actor and co-defendant Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were filed by the prosecution on Friday.

The Improved Guns Act carries a minimum prison sentence of five years for those who break the law. With the charges now dropped, Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed now face a maximum prison sentence of just 18 months, or a year and a half, if convicted of manslaughter in the death of Halyna Hutchins.

“In order to avoid further contentious distractions from Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys, the District Attorney and Special Prosecutor have removed the firearms enhancement for the manslaughter charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the ‘Rust’ Film Set,” The New York Times said. Mexico DA spokeswoman Heather Brewer said in a statement provided to IndieWire. “The Crown’s priority is ensuring justice, not getting billable hours for big city lawyers.”

Baldwin’s attorneys have filed a motion to drop the gun enhancement charges from the case earlier this month, arguing that the DA made a “fundamental legal error” in charging the actor under said law. The October 2021 shooting, in which an accident with a gun Baldwin was holding on the set of ‘Rust’ resulted in the death of cinematographer Hutchins, took place seven months before the effective date of the law in the state in May 2022. Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed, who served as the gunsmith for the film, were charged with manslaughter on January 31.

In the February 10 motion to drop the law, Baldwin’s lawyers said charging him under the law “would be unconstitutionally retroactive, and the government has no legitimate basis.” Under current gun improvement laws, defendants face a minimum five-year sentence if a firearm is discharged in a crime. The law in effect at the time of the “Rust” incident can only be applied if a defendant manifests an intent to harm or intimidate a person, which does not apply to accidental shooting.

“We applaud the district attorney’s decision to reject the improved guns and it was the right decision, ethically and substantively,” Jason Bowles, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, said in a statement. a statement. Baldwin’s attorneys declined to comment.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are expected to be arraigned next Friday.

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