Washington [US], February 21 (ANI): Alec Baldwin will no longer have to fear a five-year prison sentence for the fatal shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins though he is still facing the charges of involuntary manslaughter.
“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,” Heather Brewer, spokesperson for New Mexico First Judicial D.A. Mary Carmack-Altwies told Deadline, a US-based media company. “The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys,” tossing some distinct swipe at the contentious Baldwin and his lawyers.
After an extensive and FBI-assisted investigation by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office was released late last year, Baldwin and Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were formally charged by D.A. Carmack-Altwies with two counts of involuntary manslaughter on January 31 over the tragic October shooting of Hutchins at Bonanza Creek Ranch.
The first hearing in the Rust case is set for February 24 with Baldwin and Reed scheduled to join virtually.
Under New Mexico law, the first charge had lighter consequences as a fourth-degree felony (serious crime in the eyes of US law), with the sentencing of up to 18 months in jail and a USD 5,000 fine. The second charge, involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, was also a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and up to a USD 5000 fine. However, now disregarded, the second charge also carried a firearm enhancement, which transforms the offence to a mandatory five years in state prison if found guilty.
It was the second charge and the recent statute that created the sentence that Baldwin and his lawyers began to argue with the D.A. over earlier this month. They have now won that argument. (ANI)
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