Alec Baldwin Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter in Rust Case
In a motion filed by his attorneys on Feb. 10 and obtained by E! News, the actor accused the New Mexico District Attorney’s Office of charging him with a five-year gun enhancement that did not apply at the time of the incident.
“The prosecutors committed a basic legal error by charging Mr. Baldwin under a version of the firearm-enhancement statute that did not exist on the date of the accident,” the court document read. “It thus appears that the government intended to charge the current version of the firearm enhancement statute, which was not enacted until May 18, 2022, seven months after the accident.”
The current firearm enhancement statute increases a potential prison sentence by five years, while its previous version allowed for only a three-year increase.
Furthermore, Baldwin’s attorneys claimed that the current statute does not apply to his case because it requires “intent to intimidate or injure a person.” In the filing, they argued the 64-year-old was “practicing a scene” with a gun and did not intend to hurt Hutchins when she was fatally shot on the set of Rust in October 2021.
Baldwin’s legal team argued in the filing the prosecution “lacks probable cause or any legitimate basis to charge the version in effect at the time of the accident,” adding that it would be “flagrantly unconstitutional” if his charges are to remain as-is.
The 30 Rock alum was charged alongside Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in late January with involuntary manslaughter in connection to the death of Hutchins. The charge carried an original maximum sentence of 18 months in prison, though a firearm enhancement added by prosecutors increased the number to 78 months—roughly three-and-a-half years.
Baldwin’s lawyers are asking the court to throw out the enhancement as a violation of the constitution’s “ex post facto” clause.
In a statement to E! News, New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney spokesperson Heather Brewer 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 Halyna Hutchins’ death.”
Brewer continued, “In accordance with good legal practice, the District Attorney and the special prosecutor will review all motions—even those given to the media before being served to the DA. However, the DA’s and the special prosecutor’s focus will always remain on ensuring that justice is served and that everyone—even celebrities with fancy attorneys—is held accountable under the law.”
Like Baldwin, Gutierrez-Reed has maintained that Hutchins’ death was a “tragic accident.” As her attorney said in a Jan. 19 statement to E! News, “She did not commit involuntary manslaughter. These charges are the result of a very flawed investigation, and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts. We intend to bring the full truth to light and believe Hannah will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury.”
For the latest breaking news updates, click here to download the E! News App