SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Friday, Alec Baldwin’s lawyers filed a motion saying the government is unlawfully charging him with a firearm enhancement charge. The charge is connected to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the Santa Fe movie set in 2021.
The Santa Fe District Attorney and special prosecutor said they are actively reviewing all applicable laws to ensure they have the strongest case to secure justice for Halyna Hutchins. A New Mexico criminal defense lawyer agrees with Baldwin’s legal team.
Baldwin has been at the center of the Rust movie set shooting when he shot a gun during filming that contained a real bullet.
The Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies recently charged Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed with involuntary manslaughter as well as a “firearm enhancement,” which carries an additional five-year penalty. She said, “Three people didn’t do their jobs correctly, and because of that, it’s not negligence; it’s recklessness. It was reckless for everyone to just not do their jobs.”
A New Mexico criminal defense lawyer said that the firearm enhancement for use did not become law until May 2022, seven months after Hutchins was killed in October 2021. She said the enhancement shouldn’t apply to this situation. Caitlin Smith said, “Unless I’m missing something about this, the DA probably needs to dismiss the firearm enhancement and just seek penalties for the underlying involuntary manslaughter charge.”
According to Smith, there is a 2020 firearm enhancement for brandishing a gun that was in effect at the time of the rust shooting. Smith explained, “The DA could try to pursue a firearm enhancement under that three-year brandishing enhancement that was in effect at the time, but based on the charging documents that the DA filed, I don’t see how the DA is going to show intent to intimidate or injure based on the facts it’s alleging.”
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is also charged with the same enhancement charge. Gutierrez-Reed and Alec Baldwin are set for their initial appearance on February 24.