The Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office announced Monday that it has dropped the gun enhancement charge against Alec Baldwin in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust” in October 2021. Although the charge was dropped, Baldwin still faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter, which would carry a lesser sentence of 18 months if convicted.
The gun enhancement charge, which would have carried a five-year sentence if convicted, was also dropped against armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who faces the same involuntary manslaughter charge as Baldwin. District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies stated that the decision was made “in order to avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys.”
Baldwin’s legal team argued that the five-year gun enhancement didn’t apply at the time of the shooting, as the current version of the law did not take effect until May 2022. They had also filed a motion to disqualify Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor appointed by Carmack-Altwies, arguing she is also an elected member of the New Mexico House of Representatives and therefore has a conflict of interest.
In response to the motion to dismiss the gun enhancement charge, the district attorney released a statement that criticized Baldwin’s “fancy attorneys.”
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 Halyna Hutchins’ death. 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,” she continued.
Baldwin is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday. It is unclear how the dropping of the gun enhancement charge will affect the outcome of the case.