The case against Alec Baldwin goes back to the beginning. The actor was again indicted for involuntary manslaughter by a grand jury in New Mexico this Friday. It is the second time that the 65-year-old interpreter has faced this accusation over the death of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer of the western Rust, in October 2021. If found guilty, Baldwin could be sentenced to up to 18 months in state prison. .
This is not the first time Baldwin has faced this accusation. The producer of the independent film was also accused of manslaughter in January 2023. The Santa Fe district attorney's office then opened the case, accusing the actor of failing to follow safety measures during filming. The shot that killed the filmmaker and injured the film's director came from the Colt revolver that Baldwin was holding while rehearsing a scene. The charges were dropped in April last year due to an aggressive strategy by the artist's defense against the team of prosecutors who had built the legal case.
The process is returning to where it was almost exactly a year ago. The indictment against Baldwin was announced by a jury this morning. At least eight people believe there is enough evidence for prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis to present their case to a judge. It is common for a grand jury to rule in favor of the prosecution and favor trial, but that does not guarantee that the prosecution will win an easy victory.
“We look forward to seeing her in court,” said Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, Baldwin’s lawyers, who has always maintained he never pulled the trigger on the gun. The actor's New York-based lawyers have been a real headache for prosecutors for more than two years. After charging their client, Santa Fe authorities launched an offensive that managed to get the charges reduced when it was revealed that the murder weapon had been tampered with in the past. Prosecutors Mary Carmack-Altwies and Andrea Reeb resigned after the fiasco, making it unlikely that Baldwin would end up behind bars for the workplace accident.
The actor's luck changed with a reanalysis of the firearm, which had to be reconstructed after breaking during the first official examinations. Forensics and ballistics experts concluded in August last year that, contrary to Baldwin's claims, the weapon's mechanism must have been activated to fire the projectile that ended the 42-year-old photographer's life. FBI experts who examined the weapon after the incident came to the same conclusion several months earlier.
“This fatal incident was a result of the gun's hammer being fully retracted manually until it was loaded, and at some point that was the case [la pistola] “The trigger had to be pulled,” says the document in the hands of prosecutors. However, in two long years of legal back and forth, no one has been able to explain why the gun was loaded with real bullets.
Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the production's armory manager, will be judged on February 21. Like Baldwin, he faces one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of tampering with evidence. Gutierrez Reed had to handle the guns on set and was the one who accidentally loaded the revolver with real ammunition. Assistant director David Halls, who should have been the last to inspect the weapon before handing it to the film's protagonist, pleaded guilty and was given a six-month suspended sentence.
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