Alec Baldwin and his lawyers are fighting a portion of his involuntary manslaughter charge in the death of ‘Rust’ cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
The ’30 Rock’ actor’s lawyers have filed legal documents arguing against the firearms enhancement addition which was not passed by the New Mexico State Legislature until seven months after Hutchins was shot and killed.
An older version of the enhancement was in place at the time but stipulates that a firearm be ‘brandished’ with the ‘intent to intimidate or injure a person,’ which Baldwin says he did not have.
Baldwin and ‘Rust’ armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were both charged with involuntary manslaughter in January as prosecutors cited a ‘criminal disregard for safety.’
If convicted with the enhancement, Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed would get a mandatory five-year sentence.
Alec Baldwin and his lawyers are fighting a portion of his involuntary manslaughter charge in the death of ‘Rust’ cinematographer Halyna Hutchins
Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was accidentally shot dead by Baldwin in 2021
Baldwin is pictured speaking on the phone after the prop gun killed Hutchins
In their motion filed Friday, Baldwin’s lawyers asked Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer to throw out the enhancement violation completely.
‘The prosecutors committed a basic legal error by charging Mr. Baldwin under a version of the firearm-enhancement statute that did not exist on the date of the accident,’ wrote Baldwin’s legal team, led by New York attorney Luke Nikas.
The lawyer states that under the current laws, ‘that version of the statute could not apply to conduct that occurred before it was enacted.’
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed currently face a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison for the involuntary manslaughter charge related to Hutchins’ October 2021 death.
If the judge does throw out the enhancement, Baldwin could also be granted parole.
Even if he were charged under the previous version of the enhancement, prosecutors would face an uphill battle regarding the intent portion.
‘The government’s statement of probable cause contains no allegation that Mr. Baldwin acted “with intent to intimidate or injure a person,” and its description of the alleged conduct makes clear that the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was an accident,’ Baldwin’s lawyers said.
Baldwin, pictured Thursday, says he is not to blame for the tragedy
Baldwin is pictured second from left next to Hutchins on the set of Rust
Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the Sante Fe District Attorney’s Office said they are looking into the legality of the issue.
‘The District Attorney and special prosecutor are actively reviewing all applicable laws to ensure they have the strongest case to secure justice for Halyna Hutchins,’ said spokeswoman Heather Brewer.
Baldwin’s lawyers are also asking Sommer to address the issues ‘as soon as possible.’
They claim the issue could threaten the objectivity of potential jurors.
Baldwin’s first appearance in court is set for February 24 and he has a right to a preliminary hearing within 60 days of that.
At the preliminary hearing, prosecutors will be required to show they have the evidence to back up their charges and take the ‘Rust’ actor and armorer to trial.
Gutierrez Reed was also charged with the firearms enhancement, which her lawyer plans to ask the judge to throw out.
‘They have clearly charged an enhancement that is barred by the constitution and ex post facto law,’ said Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney Jason Bowles.
‘Rust’ armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was charged alongside Baldwin in the woman’s death
Gutierrez-Reed is also facing the firearms enhancement charge and her lawyer says he plans to argue against it
Gutierrez-Reed said she handed the gun to the assistant director inside the on set church and then left to tend to other work-related responsibilities
The news of Baldwin’s counteraction to the charges comes just one day after DailyMail.com reported that Hutchins’ family is suing the actor.
The parents and sister of the deceased Ukrainian cinematographer say they were stranded in Ukraine when the ongoing war with Russia broke out and their daughter would have brought them to the U.S. had she still been alive.
The Ukraine-Russia war began in February 2022, four months after the cinematographer’s death.
The Hutchins family is being represented by Gloria Allred, who said Thursday during a press conference they are seeking damages from Baldwin .
Halyna Hutchins with her sister Svetlana who is stuck in Ukraine
The suit was filed in Los Angeles, California.
Halyna’s mother, Olga, is a nurse treating the war wounded, and her sister, Svetlana, struggles at home with her two young kids while her husband fights on the front lines.
The family had not filed any immigration case or visa request, but their attorneys say Halyna ‘would not have allowed them’ to stay in the war if she was still alive.
‘She would have brought them to the US when it was possible,’ said Allred.
Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred is representing Halyna’s family in Ukraine. She is shown today at a press conference where she announced the lawsuit in Los Angeles