Vertiv Introduces New Single-Phase Uninterruptible Power Supply for Distributed Information Technology (IT) Networks and Edge Computing Applications in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)Read more Students from JA Zimbabwe Win 2023 De La Vega Global Entrepreneurship AwardRead more Top International Prospects to Travel to Salt Lake City for Seventh Annual Basketball Without Borders Global CampRead more Rise of the Robots as Saudi Arabia Underscores Global Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Aspirations with DeepFest Debut at LEAP23Read more Somalia: ‘I sold the last three goats, they were likely to die’Read more Merck Foundation and African First Ladies marking World Cancer Day 2023 through 110 scholarships of Oncology Fellowships in 25 countriesRead more Supporting women leaders and aspirants to unleash their potentialRead more Fake medicines kill almost 500,000 sub-Saharan Africans a year: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reportRead more Climate crisis and migration: Greta Thunberg supports International Organization for Migration (IOM) over ‘life and death’ issueRead more United Nations (UN) Convenes Lake Chad Countries, Amid Growing Regional CrisisRead more

US prosecutors in Alec Baldwin case drop charge ‘enhancement’

show caption
Alec Baldwin was filming the Western 'Rust' in October 2021 when the fatal discharge of a prop gun killed the film's cinematographer./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Feb 21, 2023 - 03:43 AM

LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors who have charged Alec Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter over a fatal shooting on a movie set dropped a so-called “firearm enhancement” that carried a potential five-year sentence, officials said Monday.

The US actor was holding a Colt .45 during rehearsals for low-budget Western “Rust” in October 2021 when it discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding the film’s director, Joel Souza.

The weapon was only supposed to contain blank bullets.

Baldwin has been charged in the southwest state of New Mexico for manslaughter and faces an 18-month prison sentence, as does the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.

The prosecutor’s spokesperson said the charge enhancement had been dropped to “avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys.”

“The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys,” the statement added.

The move came just days after Baldwin’s team accused prosecutors of committing “an unconstitutional and elementary error,” noting that the the firearm enhancement law was not in on New Mexico’s books at the time of the incident.

The lawyers’ filing said there was a firearm enhancement law in October 2021, but it required that the weapon be “brandished” — displayed in a deliberately intimidating fashion.

A hearing for both defendants is scheduled for February 24, although neither is expected to appear in person.

Assistant director Dave Halls, who handed Baldwin the weapon and told him it was “cold” — industry speak for safe — has agreed to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon.

He will serve a suspended sentence and six months of probation, prosecutors have said.

Baldwin is also facing civil proceedings, including from Hutchins’ parents and sister, all of whom live in Ukraine.

A lawsuit was lodged on their behalf in Los Angeles earlier this month, seeking unspecified damages from the “30 Rock” star, as well as from a host of others involved in the film.

Baldwin, 64, and other producers of “Rust” have already reached a financial settlement with Hutchins’ widower Matthew.

LMBCNEWS.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.