Judge will decide whether to drop manslaughter charges against actor Alec Baldwin in cinematographer's shooting death

 May 18, 2024

A New Mexico judge will decide whether actor Alec Baldwin is off the hook for an involuntary manslaughter charge filed against him in January, Breitbart reported. The 30 Rock actor's motion to dismiss is set to be heard on Friday.

Baldwin was implicated in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021. The incident happened while filming the Western Rust as Baldwin was holding a gun that was not supposed to hold live rounds.

The 66-year-old was co-producing the film and starred in the leading role. Baldwin has maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty.

Attorneys for Baldwin filed the motion to dismiss, citing prosecutors' alleged misconduct during the grand jury proceedings. If convicted, Baldwin faces 1.5 years in prison.

A Horrific Accident

The shooting occurred during rehearsals for the film as Baldwin pointed a revolver at Hutchins. Somehow, the gun fired, and Hutchins was struck with a live bullet.

The cinematographer was killed, and director Joel Souza was injured by the bullet. Still, Baldwin maintains that he never pulled the trigger but only pulled back on the revolver's hammer.

Attorneys for Baldwin believe that the grand jury was not allowed to hear possible exculpatory evidence or testimony. Special prosecutors disagree, stating instead that Baldwin engaged in "shameless" attempts to deny his own responsibility.

Baldwin allegedly changed his story on several aspects of the incident when speaking to the media, law enforcement, and workplace safety officials. The case is set to go before a jury in July, but Baldwin's legal team is asking for charges to be dismissed right away.

However, Baldwin's case for dismissal contradicts to the findings in the trial against Hanna Gutierrez-Reed, who was in the armorer on the set. She received 1.5 years in April after receiving an involuntary manslaughter conviction.

The Factors at Play

Whether Baldwin will face a similar fate to Gutierrez-Reed depends on the way prosecutors pursue the case. They may assert that Baldwin was negligent in his handling of the weapon.

Another avenue involves proving that Baldwin acted without "due caution" or "circumspection," which led to Hutchins' death. This would mean that Baldwin committed "an act committed with total disregard or indifference for the safety of others."

The factors at play include Baldwin's actions and attitude, as well as Gutierrez-Reed's culpability. Initially, Baldwin wasn't charged based on information that the weapon he was handed was already modified in some way beforehand.

However, a fresh look at the gun in evidence proved that assertion to be inaccurate. This new finding allowed prosecutors to pursue charges against Baldwin once again.

Baldwin was not an innocent bystander but rather a person in charge of a potentially deadly weapon. Even if the armorer didn't do her job, Baldwin had a duty to do his before he pointed the weapon at the cinematographer.

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