Following the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film “Rust”, prosecutors in New Mexico dropped firearm enhancement charges against Alec Baldwin.
The move reduces possible prison time for the actor as the charges carry a mandatory five-year prison sentence.
Mr Baldwin, who faces two involuntary manslaughter charges, still faces up to 18 months in prison.
The film’s director Joel Souza was also shot and wounded.
Alec Baldwin, who is the lead of the film as well as a producer, was the one holding the prop gun when the bullet discharged.
After an investigation, it was announced in January of 2023 that Baldwin and on-set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed would both be charged with manslaughter. “Rust” assistant director David Halls signed a plea agreement on the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon and took a suspended sentence as well as six months of probation. No charges were made in relation to the shooting of Souza. Special prosecutor Andrea Reeb said in a statement, “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.”
Heather Brewer, a spokeswoman for the district attorney, said in a statement that they agreed to the reduction in order to avoid any more “distractions” for Baldwin’s legal team. Brewer continued, “The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.”
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are both scheduled to enter their pleas later this week, on Friday.