January 31, 2024.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
American actor, Alec Baldwin will face court charged with involuntary manslaughter on Thursday, February 1, after accidentally shooting a camerawoman dead on a film set.
The actor, 65, is scheduled to be arraigned in the First Judicial District Court in New Mexico, on February 1 though he will appear virtually.
Named Alexander Rae Baldwin in the case, the movie star was charged after a grand jury voted to indict him on January 19.
Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins on the set of his ill-fated Western film Rust when a prop gun was loaded with live bullets.
The grand jury indicted him on the grounds of negligent use of a firearm and disregard for others’ safety in the October 21, 2021, shooting.
He faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted, but previous charges, filed by New Mexico prosecutors, were dismissed in April last year.
Baldwin always maintained that he followed gun safety laws and that the fault lies with the armourer or crew who handed him a gun loaded with a live round.
He insists he confirmed that the gun was ‘cold’, meaning not containing live ammunition when he took it to rehearse the scene.
Gloria Allred, the lawyer for Halyna’s parents and sister, said in response to the new charges: ‘Our clients have always sought the truth about what happened on the day that Halyna Hutchins was tragically shot and killed.
‘They continue to seek the truth in our civil lawsuit for them and they also would like there to be accountability in the criminal justice system.
‘The grand jury has decided that there is sufficient evidence to indict Alec Baldwin on the charge of involuntary manslaughter.
‘We are looking forward to the criminal trial which will determine if he should be convicted for the untimely death of Halyna.’
Baldwin’s lawyers Alex Spiro and Luke Nikas countered: ‘We look forward to our day in court.’
They responded to the indictment almost immediately, arguing the ongoing media interest in his case could alter a jury’s ability to be impartial.
The filings noted a speedy trial would ‘minimize public vilification and suspicion’, and may ‘avoid the hazards of proving his innocence that often arise after a lengthy delay in prosecution’.
The film set’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will stand trial in February after she has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors charged her with failing to properly check the gun’s ammunition and for allowing live rounds onto the movie set.
Baldwin was practising drawing the prop weapon from his holster when he claimed it fired spontaneously.
He has always been adamant that he did not pull the trigger.
But a new report by Lucien Haag of Forensic Science Services in Arizona states that the trigger ‘had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver.’
He was initially charged in January 2023 by First Judicial District Attorney of New Mexico Mary Carmack-Altwies, who launched her own media tour soon after filing charges.
Baldwin’s team interpreted her enthusiasm for the case as a fame-hungry effort to boost her own career.
After hashing it out with his team in the court of public opinion, Carmack-Altwies stepped down from the case and a special prosecutor was appointed to take over.
That team opted to drop the charges against Baldwin, who had already settled a wrongful death lawsuit launched by Hutchins’ family.(www.naija247news.com).