US actor Alec Baldwin (64) has won a significant legal victory. Even before Baldwin's trial for the fatal accident on the set of his film "Rust" began, the New Mexico prosecutor's office dropped the more serious charge of negligent homicide in connection with the use of firearms, as reported by "Variety". If convicted, the star would have faced a five-year sentence in a state prison.
When prosecutors in the US state of New Mexico filed a lawsuit against Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer in the film "Rust," on Jan. 31, a change in the law would allow for more severe penalties for crimes involving the use of firearms. In its current form, however, this law has only been in effect since May 2022, while camerawoman Halyna Hutchins (1979-2021) was killed on the set of the western "Rust" in October 2021 by a bullet fired from Baldwin's gun used during filming . The amendment to the law mentioned above cannot be applied retrospectively.
Under the previous version of the law, an accused had to demonstrate "intent to intimidate or harm any person" during the act of using firearms. This is not the case in Baldwin's case. Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed now face a maximum of 18 months in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter. The first hearing in court is scheduled for February 24.
In October 2021, while filming the western Rust, Hutchins was hit by a bullet from a gun and died of her injuries. Director Joel Souza (49) was also injured. Baldwin was preparing for a scene when he pointed the gun at the camerawoman and a shot went off. The 64-year-old denied any responsibility for the incident. Among other things, he had asserted that he had not pulled the trigger, but that the shot had gone off. According to investigations, the gun contained live ammunition. So far it has not been clarified how it got to the film set in the first place.