This “Loophole” May Save Alec Baldwin Legally

( Reports show Alec Baldwin’s attorneys contend that he was charged with involuntary manslaughter for the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of his film “Rust” in October 2021 using a version of a New Mexico statute that wasn’t enacted until 2022.

Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armorer, were charged with involuntary manslaughter on January 31 for Hutchins’ death.

Luke Nikas, Baldwin’s attorney, claimed that Baldwin should be prosecuted under the statutes in effect at the time of the occurrence. After-the-fact modifications to the law should have no influence on the case.

According to New Mexico state law, under the statute in effect in 2021, Baldwin would face a maximum term of 18 months if convicted. The revised version of the legislation, Bill 68, approved by the governor of New Mexico in March, raises the maximum term to five years.

Local reports show Heather Brewer, a spokesman for the prosecution, said that Nikas’ motion was an effort to divert attention from the egregious carelessness and utter contempt for safety that led to Halyna Hutchins’ death on the ‘Rust’ film set.

Attorneys for Gutierrez-Reed filed a similar request. Ms. Gutierrez-Reed was not holding the pistol when it fired; thus, the act she is accused of does not match the meaning of the legislation.

When a weapon is brandished during the conduct of a noncapital offense, the version of the statute in effect when Ms. Hutchins was killed applies. If the weapon were fired during the conduct of a noncapital offense, the updated version would require a minimum sentence of five years.

In their request, Baldwin’s attorneys pointed out that nowhere in the probable cause statement is Baldwin accused of intentionally intimidating or injuring a person.

According to investigative reports, Baldwin was not present for mandatory weapons training before the start of filming, and evidence indicates he received minimal firearms instruction, even after Reed requested more training.

Robert Shilling, a special investigator for the district attorney’s office, said in his statement that Baldwin was charged with negligence that directly caused a death.