Alec Baldwin’s possible prison sentence regarding the Rust movie set shooting has been reduced significantly following a legal issue found by Baldwin’s lawyers.
Prosecutors in New Mexico were forced to drop firearm enhancement charges against Baldwin because of a law that was passed after the incident in October 2021, which saw the death of Halyna Hutchins, and therefore couldn’t be used against him since it did not exist prior to the incident.
This action drops Baldwin’s mandatory prison sentence from a minimum of 5 years, to only 18 months, if convicted.
In a statement from Heather Brewer, the spokesperson for the Santa Fe County DA, she 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,” adding, “The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.”
The same charges were dropped for Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armorer, as both her and Baldwin’s lawyers argued that, “prosecutors were applying a version of the law passed after the October 2021 shooting accident,” per BBC.
Baldwin also faces another civil lawsuit filed against him by Hutchins’ parents and sister.
The Santa Fe County DA’s office is under much scrutiny following the compliance of the amended complaint.
Jordan Rubin from MSNBC expressed his frustration, writing, “The prosecution was sloppy in charging, Baldwin’s lawyers raised a clear constitutional issue and the prosecution rightly folded. Now, prosecutors are licking their wounds and lashing out about their misstep with a statement that doesn’t reflect well on the DA’s office or the future of a case that looked shaky from the start.”
Rust is set to resume production this spring with Baldwin returning as the lead actor, the director Joel Souza, who was also injured in the shooting, will also return, and Hutchins’ husband, Matthew, will join as an executive producer.