The Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office announced Monday it is dropping the gun enhancement charge — a crime that would have carried a five-year sentence if convicted — against Alec Baldwin in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust in October 2021.
Baldwin still faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter for the shooting, however, that crime would carry a lesser sentence of 18 months if convicted. The amended complaint was filed late Friday.
The charge was also dropped against armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who faces the same involuntary manslaughter charge as Baldwin.
“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,” Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a statement. “The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.”
The decision to drop the charge was a win for Baldwin, who makes his first court appearance on Friday.
Baldwin’s legal team filled a motion Feb. 10 arguing that the five-year gun enhancement didn’t apply at the time of the shooting writing, “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 accident occurred in October of 2021, but the current version of the law did not take effect until May 2022.
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