Alec Baldwin just let out a deep exhale after charges were dropped in the ‘Rust’ shooting which could have seen him go behind bars for a long time. New Mexico prosecutors dropped the firearms enhancement originally brought against Baldwin in connection to the fatal shooting of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies filed the paperwork Monday morning which confirmed the dropped charge. If Baldwin had been convicted of the involuntary manslaughter charge and firearms enhancement, he would have faced five years in jail.
“In order to avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys, the District Attorney and the special prosecutor have removed the firearm enhancement to the involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the ‘Rust’ film set,” Heather Brewer, spokesperson for the district attorney, told Fox. “The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.”
The max jail time Baldwin now faces is 18 months. Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani says that the change does not make the prosecutors look good.
“The district attorney has to be embarrassed. Charging a law retroactively is a constitutional violation, and something that every first-year law student knows not to do.
“Now, she has egg on her face after overcharging the case and grandstanding for the press. She has made one legal blunder after another and may be in over her head. There is no reason why she should have waited more than a year to file charges or give assistant director David Halls a no-time slap on the wrist when she is trying to put Baldwin in state prison” Rahmani added.
Baldwin’s lawyers had argued the enhancement was “unconstitutional” in a Feb. 10 filing.
“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,” argued the lawyers.