An image of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died after being shot by Alec Baldwin on the set of his movie “Rust,” is displayed during a vigil in her honor in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 23, 2021 .
Kevin Mohatt | Reuters
A New Mexico prosecutor in the fatal ‘Rust’ shooting case has admitted that Alec Baldwin was wrongfully charged with an additional sentence that could lead to a five-year prison sentence, the star’s attorneys have said cinema in a court case this week.
Baldwin’s attorneys had called the so-called improved guns unconstitutional in a petition filed Feb. 10. They argued that it was not applicable in Baldwin’s case because the law was changed in May 2022, seven months after the fatal on-set shooting of Halyna Hutchins in October 2021. Baldwin’s legal team withdrew its request on Monday.
Baldwin, a producer on the film, held the gun that fired the bullet that killed Hutchins. The actor, who also starred in ‘The Departed’ and ‘Beetlejuice,’ denied pulling the trigger. The film’s gunsmith, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was also charged with two counts of manslaughter, one of which involved improving the gun. Gutierrez-Reed’s charges were also downgraded.
Two days after Baldwin’s defense filed the Feb. 10 motion, Special Prosecutor Andrea Reeb wrote in an email, “We’re a bit confused about your gun upgrade motion.” A prosecution spokesperson had also spoken to CNBC, saying the motion to reduce the charges was merely an attempt to distract from the criminal case. Prosecutors called Baldwin’s lawyers “fancy lawyers.”
But, according to Monday’s Baldwin team filing, 22 minutes after Reeb sent that first email, she followed up: “Let me look at the specific numbers and sections and make sure we’ve got it correct. .”
Hours later, Reeb sent a third email, admitting that prosecutors were wrong and that she “100%” agreed with Baldwin’s lawyers’ assessment of the gun’s upgrade. fire.
“I will have our paperwork redacted to amend the criminal information to remove the gun enhancement,” she wrote.
Prosecutors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The emails were sent on February 12. Days later, prosecutors officially downgraded the charges, removing the firearm enhancement that could have landed Baldwin more than five years in prison if convicted.
Baldwin’s lawyers want Reeb out of the case. They filed a petition on Feb. 7, arguing that she is not “constitutionally entitled” to serve as a prosecutor in the case given that she also serves in the New Mexico legislature. Article III of the New Mexico constitution prohibits anyone serving in one branch of government from holding office for another branch.
Baldwin still faces manslaughter charges with a possible 18-month prison sentence for his role in the fatal shooting of Hutchins, who was the cinematographer on the set of “Rust.”
In addition to the criminal case, Hutchins’ mother, father, and sister filed a civil suit against Baldwin and others involved in the production of “Rust.” Hutchins’ widower, Matthew Hutchins, settled his own civil lawsuit against Baldwin in October. He is now an executive producer of “Rust”.
Producers announced earlier this month that “Rust” would resume filming this spring, and a documentary about Hutchins’ life and work would also begin production. Production will resume in Montana, producers announced Wednesday.
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are scheduled to make their first court appearances Friday morning local time in a remote hearing.
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