Alec Baldwin has had some relief after a serious charge in relation to the fatal Rust shooting was dropped. The film director will now no longer face the possibility of spending five years behind bars after the prosecutors dropped the charge of involuntary manslaughter that they had brought against him. They initially wanted to add the firearm enhancement charges on top of manslaughter, which would have forced him to stay in prison for over five years if found guilty.
However, even as Baldwin is celebrating the dropping of this major charge, his colleague, the former armorer of the Rust set, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, could still face similar charges that would see her spend five years behind bars. Alec is not out of the woods yet, as he could still face up to 18 months in prison for a lesser manslaughter charge
According to the Santa Fe District Attorney's Office, the reason for dropping the enhanced firearms charge was to lessen the number of litigious distractions that were placed by Mr. Baldwin's attorneys. They see that a lesser charge is likely to sail through more smoothly than having a bigger charge that opens doors for injunctions. This office stated that they were interested in pursuing justice rather than the number of billable hours for the attorneys.
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The Family Is Seeking Justice For The Slain Actress
The sister and parents of the slain actress Halyna Hutchins have sued the actor Alec Baldwin and the movie production company over her death. They filed the lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming that the defendants have caused them unfathomable emotional distress and loss of consortium by causing the death of the actress. Besides, they have also sued the defendants for negligence for the actions that led to the untimely demise of the actress.
Alec Baldwin fired the killer shot during a rehearsal for the movie 'Western, Rustic' in 2021, but the actor claims that he did not know that the gun was loaded. The actor is renowned for several amazing performances in his long acting career. At the time of the accident, Hutchings was the director of photography for the movie. Alec later said that he was heartbroken for the events that happened on that fateful day.
The production company reached an out-of-court agreement with Alec Baldwin and Mathew Hutching, the husband of the deceased. However, the immediate family members of the deceased filed a civil lawsuit against both the company and Alec, claiming that it was necessary for accountability and justice to be served. They further claimed that they had not heard a word from either Baldwin or the production company regarding the matter.
According to the attorney representing the family in the case, the man who held the gun that ended their daughter and sister's life has been silent for the whole time. They say that they will pursue the civil case no matter the outcome of the criminal charges against both Alec Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed.
The Charge Sheet Claims Omissions And Recklessness On The Side Of Baldwin
According to the charge sheet and the documents that were seen by various media sources, the prosecutor's office alleges that on the day of the shooting alone, there was evidence of over a dozen dangerous acts, recklessness and omissions that directly contributed to the fatal shooting. All of these do not include the recklessness of handling the firearm. The charge sheet also claims that by omission or failure to act in his position as the producer of the set, Baldwin contributed to the death. He also failed to mitigate the dangerous actions that took place on that fateful day.
However, according to Baldwin's lawyer, Luke Nikas, his client continues to maintain his innocence and will fight the charges in every way possible. He went on to say that the announcement of the criminal charges against the actor distorts the facts surrounding the director's death, potentially resulting in a terrible miscarriage of justice.
According to Lukas, Baldwin has no reason to believe that he was handling a live gun, as there are no cases where live rounds are used. He added that the actor relied on his professionals, who assured him that the gun did not have any live rounds. Therefore, he cannot be held criminally responsible for the shooting. For this reason, he shall fight the charges and have his rights preserved.
The Death Of Hutchins Shocked The Industry
The death of Hutchins sent shockwaves across the entire acting fraternity. It prompts a review of safety precautions, particularly when it comes to firearm handling when shooting in potentially hazardous locations and heights. Many production companies have reviewed their safety measures to ensure that all safety precautions are double-checked before a set is shot. This could be the silver lining on the cloud, as it is likely to lead to fewer untimely deaths in the future.
As for the case of Alec Baldwin, he seems to be over with the worst part of his prosecution. However, the industry holds its breath as they wait to see what the court will decide about who is culpable for the death of the actress. The civil case is likely to result in significant damages being awarded to the family.