Prosecutors in New Mexico have dropped a firearm enhancement from one of the manslaughter charges against actor and producer Alec Baldwin, officials announced Monday. Baldwin still faces two charges of involuntary manslaughter in the deadly shooting on the set of his film “Rust” in 2021.
With the firearm enhancement, Baldwin could have faced a mandatory five-year sentence.
Baldwin’s attorneys had been fighting against the enhancement in court, arguing that prosecutors used a 2022 version of the law that didn’t apply to the 2021 shooting. The film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, was killed when the gun discharged, and director Joel Souza was wounded.
Heather Brewer, a spokesperson for the district attorney in the case, said in a statement the decision to drop the enhancement was made “in order 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,” Brewer said.
Prosecutors made the same change to one of the charges against the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. “We applaud the decision and it was the right call,” Jason Bowles, an attorney for Gutierrez-Reed, said in a statement.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.
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