Alec Baldwin challenges New Mexico prosecutors over more gun-related charges in “Rust” case.

A man in a gray suit stands behind a lectern and in front of a bright blue background

Alec Baldwin is the presenter at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award gala at the Hilton Midtown in New York on December 9, 2021. (Evan Agostini/Invision/Associated Press)

Alec Baldwin is asking a New Mexico court to dismiss an increase in manslaughter charges against him that would carry a five-year prison sentence if convicted.

In a motion filed Friday, Baldwin’s attorneys argued that the actor was unlawfully charged with a so-called gun augmentation to manslaughter charge in connection with the October 21, 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins .

The current version of the fire enhancement statute wasn’t enacted until May 18, 2022, seven months after the fatal shooting of the western movie “Rust,” Quinn Emanuel attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro argued in their motion.

“Prosecutors in this case have committed an unconstitutional and elementary legal error by accusing Mr. Baldwin of a statute that did not exist at the date of the incident,” Baldwin’s attorneys wrote in their motion filed in the 1st Judicial District Court of the New Mexico on a Friday.

Baldwin denied culpability, alleging negligence on the part of other crew members. The actor, who also served as a producer on the film, said he failed to pull the trigger on the prop gun that accidentally went off during a rehearsal, killing Hutchins and wounding the film’s director Joel Souza.

If granted, the motion would be a setback for prosecutors in their case against Baldwin, who also faces a series of lawsuits from the Hutchins family and crew members. This week, Hutchins’ parents and sister sued Baldwin and other producers and crew members for battery and negligence.

Baldwin faces two manslaughter charges; a jury can choose only one of the charges. If found guilty of both, Baldwin could face 18 months in prison. But one of the charges, prosecutors said, carries a mandatory five-year prison sentence because a firearm was involved.

“Another day, another motion by Alec Baldwin and his attorneys in an attempt to distract from the gross negligence and complete disregard for safety on the set of the movie ‘Rust’ that led to the death of Halyna Hutchins,” said Heather Brewer, spokesperson, New Mexico Chief Judicial District Attorney. “The district attorney and special prosecutor will review all motions, even those filed with the media before being served on the district attorney.”

The motion is the latest challenge Baldwin’s legal field has presented to the 1st Judicial District. attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb.

Earlier this week, Baldwin asked the court to drop Reeb from the case, arguing that the New Mexico constitution prevents her as a state legislator from simultaneously holding a position in the judicial or executive branch of government.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *