Alec Baldwin charges: Actor no longer faces gun enhancement in manslaughter charge, prosecutors say

Alec Baldwin’s manslaughter charge is downgraded


Alec Baldwin manslaughter charge downgraded in ‘Rust’ set

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New Mexico prosecutors have dropped a gun upgrade from one of the manslaughter charges against actor and producer Alec Baldwin, officials said Monday. Baldwin still faces two manslaughter charges in the fatal shot on the set of his western “Rust” in 2021.

With improved firearms, Baldwin could have faced a mandatory five-year sentence if convicted of the death of the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. Baldwin was holding a gun during a rehearsal when it discharged, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.

Baldwin said he didn’t pull the trigger on the gun. Prosecutors said the gun could not fire without the trigger being pulled.

Baldwin’s lawyers had fought the enhancement in court, arguing that prosecutors used a 2022 version of the law that did not apply to the 2021 shooting.

Heather Brewer, spokeswoman for District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, said in a statement that the decision to drop the enhancement was made “in order to avoid further contentious distractions from Mr. Baldwin and his lawyers”.

“The Crown’s priority is to deliver justice, not to get billable hours for big city lawyers,” Brewer said.

Prosecutors made the same change to one of the charges against the film’s gunsmith, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. “We applaud the decision and it was the right decision,” Jason Bowles, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, said in a statement.

A lawyer for Baldwin declined to comment immediately after Monday’s developments.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are due to make their first court appearances on Friday morning. Both defendants are expected to appear remotely via an online connection, a court spokesperson said earlier this month.

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