For a “legal error”, the charge against Alec Baldwin in the death of Halyna Hutchins is dropped

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Alec Baldwinstar and one of the producers of “Rust”, and gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, face a maximum sentence of only 18 months if they are found guilty involuntary manslaughter for the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, as a more serious law incriminating them only went into effect in May 2022, seven months after the event.

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Prosecutors withdrew a five-year gun possession enhancement against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed after the defendants argued the law did not apply at the time of the shooting on the set of “Rust.” The plaintiff’s claim was that there had been a “basic legal fallacy”The New York Times reported on Monday.

When the charges were filed Jan. 31, prosecutors sought to enforce a statute requiring it harsher penalties for firearms offences. Under New Mexico law, if a firearm is discharged in the course of a felony, the defendants may face another five years in prison.

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But that law didn’t go into effect until May 2022, seven months after Hutchins’ murder. The weapons update that went into effect in October 2021 required a defendant to show “intent to intimidate or injure a person,” which did not apply to Hutchins’ accidental shooting.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died after being shot by the gun Baldwin was holding.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died after being shot by the gun Baldwin was holding.

A public prosecutor’s spokeswoman, Heather Brewer, stressed that the decision was made to ensure “justice is done” and avoid lengthening the trial.

Hutchins died in October 2021 when a revolver Baldwin was handling exploded on the set of “Rust” in Santa Fe County, New Mexico after Gutiérrez-Reed allegedly checked the revolver and the actor received it as a “weapon Cold” with no live ammo.

Baldwin’s attorneys explained in their Feb. 10 appeal that at the time of the event, the current version of the law only allowed “a three-year increase” for the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. .

The defense added that this version also didn’t apply because it required “the intent to intimidate or hurt a person.”

A lawyer for Gutiérrez-Reed, Jason Bowles, told the New York Times that the prosecution’s decision now “reflected good ethical standards and was correct as regards the facts and the law,” while a lawyer for Baldwin, Luke Nikas, he declined to comment on the matter.

The actor has defended his innocence in several media interviews, claiming that the responsibility for ensuring the safety of the weapons in “Rust” was assigned to Gutiérrez-Reed and that he never pulled the trigger, but instead the weapon it exploded because it had some flaws.

On February 14, it was announced that filming on “Rust” will resume in the spring. Baldwin will continue to play the lead role in the film and the scene in which Hutchins lost his life will be rewritten, but the studio hasn’t released any further details.

Source: Clarin

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