Celebrity News February 20, 2023
Alec Baldwin’s Gun Enhancement Charge Dropped in ‘Rust’ Case
Alec Baldwin just caught a major break in his “Rust” shooting case.
On Monday, the Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office dropped its gun enhancement charge against Baldwin in connection with the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film “Rust.”
In a statement, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said, “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 prosecution's priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys."
While he still faces one charge of involuntary manslaughter, Baldwin will no longer face a possible five-year prison sentence. If he is convicted, he is now facing a possible 18 months of prison time.
Earlier this month, Baldwin’s team argued, “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."
Baldwin will appear virtually in court on Friday, February 24, for the first hearing in the case.
In October 2021, Baldwin, an actor in and producer on “Rust,” was holding the gun that discharged, killing Hutchins and wounding Souza on the set in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has denied any wrongdoing.
In recent court papers filed in the First Judicial District Court in New Mexico, prosecutors claimed that standard film safety protocols were not followed on the set.
The papers claimed, "Had Baldwin performed the required safety checks with the armorer, Reed, this tragedy would not have occurred. In addition, if Baldwin had not pointed the gun at Hutchins and Souza, this tragedy would not have occurred. This reckless deviation from the known standards and practices and protocol directly caused the fatal shooting."
Baldwin has maintained in interviews that the gun went off on its own and that he did not pull the trigger. The court docs stated the gun was submitted to the FBI crime lab for examination and analysis. Their findings “clearly showed that the weapon could not ‘accidentally fire’; for the weapon to fire, the trigger had to have been depressed/pressed."
“Rust” director Joel Souza was also shot during the incident, but survived. There will be no charges related to his injuries.
Just a day before the DA dropped the gun enhancement charge, Alec’s wife Hilaria posted a throwback pic of them together. She wrote on Instagram, “12 years ago, this night, we met. What a journey we have had been through, to, in, and around and continuing…every emotional place I don’t think either one of us could have ever predicted. But here we are…still standing, surrounded by all of you amazing humans, our tiny babes…and together. In it with you, Alec…I’m here, we are here…never alone 🏼.”
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Hilaria noted that the pic was taken a “yearish” after they met.
In December, “Extra” spoke with Hilaria about how the family’s doing in the wake of the “Rust” tragedy.
She said, “We're not okay. We can't be okay. No one is okay. It was, and is, a tragedy that nobody could ever have imagined.”
She went on, ”I mean, the loss of her. Halyna, her son, a little son, her family, her co-workers, the people who loved her, her fans. I mean, she was an incredible, incredible woman in so many different ways.”
Opening up about Alec, she said, “I worry about him… I mean, can you imagine? Nobody can. There was so much confusion to understand what had happened.”