BY Josiah Upper, The Western JournalJanuary 19, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | January 19, 2023
1 year ago

Alec Baldwin's Lawyer Issues Indignant Statement After Manslaughter Charges Are Announced

Actor and producer Alec Baldwin faces two involuntary manslaughter charges stemming from an accidental shooting death that took place on the set of the movie "Rust" in 2021.

In a written statement, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb announced their decision to charge both Baldwin and film armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in connection to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, with Carmack-Altwies saying Thursday that "no one is above the law."

Baldwin's attorney, Luke Nikas, communicated his client's apparent indignation at the charges.

"This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice," he said, according to CNN.

"Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun -- or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win."

Gutierrez-Reed's attorneys Jason Bowles and Todd J. Bullion told Yahoo that they would also be fighting her charges of involuntary manslaughter, saying that "Hannah is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident. But she did not commit involuntary manslaughter.

"These charges are the result of a very flawed investigation, and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts. We intend to bring the full truth to light and believe Hannah will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury."

Regardless, Carmack-Altwies has said that she feels that there is sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to move forward.

"After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the 'Rust' film crew," Carmack-Altwies said. "On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice."

She also said that "every person that handles a gun has a duty to make sure that if they're going to handle that gun, point it at someone and pull the trigger that it is not going to fire a projectile and kill someone," according to CNN.

Elliot Williams, a legal analyst for CNN, said he was not surprised by the charges.

"I'm not surprised at all about these charges, and particularly if you separate Alec Baldwin the actor from Alec Baldwin the producer," he said.

"It would have been hard to see him charged with a crime in his capacity as an actor here. But he's being charged in effect as somebody who was responsible for what happened on the set. And what this involuntary manslaughter charge comes down to is negligence."

According to Deadline, a conviction on a charge of involuntary manslaughter could lead to up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. A second conviction would require "proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in a death."

The attorney for Hutchins' family, Brian J. Panish, expressed gratitude for the charges.

"We want to thank the Santa Fe Sheriff and the District Attorney for concluding their thorough investigation and determining that charges for involuntary manslaughter are warranted for the killing of Halyna Hutchins with conscious disregard for human life," he said, according to Deadline.

"Our independent investigation also supports charges are warranted. It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law. We support the charges, will fully cooperate with this prosecution, and fervently hope the justice system works to protect the public and hold accountable those who break the law."

Assistant director David Halls has agreed to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon in relation to the incident, CNN reported.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Josiah Upper, The Western Journal

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