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Prosecutors Drop Most Severe Charge Against Alec Baldwin In Shooting Death Of Halyna Hutchins

Santa Fe, NM – Prosecutors announced on Monday they are dropping the gun enhancement charges against Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin and former “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in connection with the fatal on-set shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The gun enhancement charges carried a potential prison sentence of five years, ABC News reported.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed both still face two counts of involuntary manslaughter, which is punishable by up to 18 months in prison if they are convicted.

“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 Hutchins on the ‘Rust’ film set,” Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said, according to ABC News. “The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.”

Baldwin’s legal team argued in a motion filed Feb. 10 that the version of the gun enhancement filed against him was not yet in effect when the fatal shooting occurred, ABC News reported.

The current version of the law took effect in May of 2022.

“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 actor’s attorneys said.

New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney spokesperson Heather Brewer said Baldwin and his legal team are just trying to draw attention away from what truly occurred on the film set the day of Hutchins’ death.

“Another day, another motion from Alec Baldwin and his attorneys in an attempt to distract from the gross negligence and complete disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set that led to Hutchins’ death,” Brewer told ABC News.

“In accordance with good legal practice, the District Attorney and the special prosecutor will review all motions – even those given to the media before being served to the DA,” she continued. “However, the DA’s and the special prosecutor’s focus will always remain on ensuring that justice is served and that everyone – even celebrities with fancy attorneys – is held accountable under the law.”

The Santa Fe District Attorneys Office filed the amended complaint late on Feb. 17 and announced the dropped charges on Monday, ABC News reported.

“We applaud the decision of the District Attorney to dismiss the gun enhancement and it was the right call, ethically, and on the merits,” Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, told CNN in a statement.

Gutierrez-Reed and Baldwin are both scheduled to make their initial court appearances on Friday morning, CBS News reported.

Baldwin, who fatally shot Hutchins on the set of the film on Oct. 21, 2001, has denied responsibility for her death.

He insisted during an interview with ABC News in late 2021 that he “didn’t pull the trigger” of the “prop” gun he was holding when it discharged and fatally shot the 42-year-old cinematographer.

The 64-year-old actor said he has “no idea” how the fatal incident occurred.

But according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) forensic report, the .45 Colt caliber F.lli Pietta single-action revolver Baldwin was holding at the time of the fatal shooting could not have fired without someone pulling the trigger, ABC News reported.

The film’s producer, Joel Souza, was also wounded by the bullet that killed Hutchins.

“Rust” is due to resume filming this spring, with Baldwin as the lead actor, BBC reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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