If convicted of involuntary manslaughter in New Mexico, Alec Baldwin faces a minimum mandatory term of five years in prison due to an increase to the charges.
Baldwin’s lawyers submitted a motion on Friday claiming their client was wrongfully charged with “firearm enhancement” to involuntary manslaughter for the October 21, 2021 shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro of Quinn Emanuel stated in their brief that the present version of the fire-enhancement statute was not implemented until May 18, 2022, seven months after the deadly shooting on the western movie “Rust.”
Lawyers for Baldwin argued in a motion filed Friday in New Mexico’s 1st Judicial District Court that the state’s prosecutors violated the Constitution and made a “basic legal mistake” by charging their client under a law that did not exist at the time of the accident.
Baldwin has denied responsibility, laying the blame on carelessness on the part of the crew. The actor, who also served as producer, has stated that he did not pull the trigger of the pretend gun that inadvertently went off during a rehearsal, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
This move, if granted, would represent a major blow to the prosecution’s case against Baldwin, who is also being sued by the Hutchins family and several members of the crew. Baldwin and other members of the production team are being sued for abuse and carelessness by Hutchins’ parents and sister this week.
Baldwin has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, from which the jury must choose one. Baldwin faces a possible 18-month jail sentence if he is proven guilty of both charges. Prosecutors say one of the two accusations includes a five-year mandatory prison term because to the involvement of a handgun.
Heather Brewer, a spokesperson for the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney, said, “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 the death of Halyna Hutchins.”
All motions, even those released to the public before being served on the DA, will be reviewed by the DA and the special prosecutor.
Baldwin’s legal team has been challenging 1st Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb for some time, and this move is the most recent of those challenges.
Baldwin filed a motion this week seeking disqualification of Reeb from the lawsuit on the grounds that her dual role as a state legislator and a member of the executive or judicial branches of government violates the New Mexico Constitution.
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