Alec Baldwin Wins a (not live) Round
Actor and Armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed Get Gun Charges Downgraded 5 Years in Jail to 18 Months Max
Alec Baldwin’s powerful legal team won a huge victory against the Santa Fe District Attorney who charged him with two counts of involuntary manslaughter for shooting and killing his cinematographer.
Baldwin’s lawyers challenged the D.A. for adding a firearms enhancement that made him face a penalty of mandatory five years in jail. The prosecutor dropped the added charge and didn’t reload.
After first denying the Baldwin motion had any merit, D.A. Mary Carmack-Altwies withdrew the charge that required brandishing or discharging a gun during an illegal act. Baldwin now faces a maximum penalty of 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine for killing Halyna Hutchins.
The D.A.’s spokeswoman Heather Brewer said the reason for the D.A. backing down is to “avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys.” Brewer also said:
The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.
As I reported exclusively, the D.A. also will not investigate further to determine how live rounds got on set.
Armorer Unfairly Charged
The District Attorney also withdrew the gun charge for the “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed.
“We applaud the decision of the District Attorney to drop the gun enhancement,” Reed’s attorney Jason Bowles told me. “It was the right decision ethically and on the merits.”
I asked Bowles how Reed could be charged at all under this law since she loaded the gun but didn’t give it to Baldwin and didn’t hold it when Hutchins was shot.
“You are 100 right that she never brandished or discharged the gun. It never should have been applied to Hannah,” Bowles said.
Baldwin’s legal bullseye
Baldwin’s “big city attorneys” are Luke Nikas and his associates at the powerful New York firm Quinn Emmanuel.
Nikas and his team filed a motion on Feb. 10 that said the government unlawfully charged Baldwin with the firearm enhancement based on a law that didn’t exist when the actor shot and killed Halyna Hutchins on Oct. 21, 2021.
Baldwin’s attorneys argued that, at the time of the shooting, this firearm law applied only to to suspects who “brandished” a firearm (which means waving it around) during the crime with the “intent to intimidate or injure a person.” They assert that the prosecutor never alleged those motives to Baldwin.
The big city lawyers pointed out that the District Attorney appeared to be basing the charges on a law that went into effect in May 2022 that makes it a “firearm enhancement” charge just for discharging a firearm in the commission of a noncapital felony. In the court filing, Baldwin’s legal team included this chart to make it clear.
As you can see, that new law fits Baldwin’s actions — discharging the gun — but it wasn’t in effect when he did it.
New Mexico v Alec Baldwin
The prosecutor was at first dismissive and defensive about Baldwin’s argument against facing a mandatory 15 years in the slammer. Brewer, her spokeswoman, responded to Baldwin’s filing” on Feb. 10 saying it:
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 Halyna Hutchins' death.
However the D.A. didn’t ignore the claim…
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