It has been revealed that the charges against Alec Baldwin and Rust set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed for the fatal shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins were downgraded, dropping the potential five-year prison sentence for the pair.
The Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office formally downgraded the second of the two charges, which included a firearm enhancement, issued to Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed on Friday, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Lawyers for the two argued in a motion filed earlier this month that the charge was based on a New Mexico law passed after Hutchins’ death on the movie set in October of 2021.
Both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed still face involuntary manslaughter charges, but the removal of the firearm enhancement on the second charge removes the possibility of a five-year prison sentence.
They still face up to 18 months in prison.
"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," said Heather Brewer, spokesperson for the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney, in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
"The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys," she added.
Jason Bowles, lawyer for Gutierrez-Reed, said that the armorer’s legal team "applaud(s) the decision by the District Attorney and it was the right call, ethically, and on the merits."
On January 31, the two were formally charged with the Rust set shooting death of Hutchins.
In a statement from New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announcing her office’s intent on filing charges, she said that "a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico" determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the ‘Rust’ film crew."
"If any one of these three people—Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, or David Halls—had done their job, Halyna Hutchins would be alive today. It’s that simple," said Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor appointed by the DA to the case. "The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set. In New Mexico, there is no room for film sets that don’t take our state’s commitment to gun safety and public safety seriously."
Assistant Director David Hall signed a plea agreement for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, with the terms including a suspended sentence and six months probation.
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