On Monday, The New York Times reported that prosecutors have moved to downgrade the involuntary manslaughter charges filed against Baldwin after holding the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie “Rust” in 2021.
The Times noted the decision reduces the prison time Baldwin would have received from a minimum of five years to 18 months.
Heather Brewer, a spokeswoman for the district attorney, said in a statement the prosecution decided to get rid of the firearm enhancement charge to “avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys.”
She added, “The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.”
Additionally, according to the report, the change to the charges applies to armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.
A lawyer for Gutierrez-Reed, Jason Bowles, commented on the prosecutors’ decision, saying it “reflected good ethical standards and was correct on the facts and law.”
The Times noted prosecutors have filed two counts “in the alternative” for the clients.
The newspaper explained that means if Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed “are convicted, a jury would decide which definition of involuntary manslaughter applies.”
A judge will be asked to decide if there is reason to go ahead with the charges filed against them.
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