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Alec Baldwin Charged With Two Counts of Involuntary Manslaughter in Movie Set Shooting

Alec Baldwin Charged With Two Counts of Involuntary Manslaughter in Movie Set Shooting

“each carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail”

Actor and producer Alec Baldwin has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the 2021 shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film Rust.

The film’s armorer was also charged.

FOX News reports:

Alec Baldwin hit with involuntary manslaughter in death of Halyna Hutchins, facing up to 18 months in prison

Alec Baldwin was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Halyna Hutchins.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was the armorer on the film “Rust,” was also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Alec Baldwin’s attorney called the charges a “terrible miscarriage of justice” in a statement to Fox News Digital.

“This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice,” Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel said. “Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”

Hutchins’ family thanked the sheriff’s office and the DA after the charges were announced.

“We want to thank the Santa Fe Sheriff and the District Attorney for concluding their thorough investigation and determining that charges for involuntary manslaughter are warranted for the killing of Halyna Hutchins with conscious disregard for human life,” said a statement issued on behalf of the Hutchins family via attorney Brian J. Panish, founding partner of Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi LLP.

Could Baldwin face jail time?

Variety reports:

Mary Carmack-Altwies, the First Judicial District Attorney in Santa Fe, announced the charges in a statement on Thursday.

Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed each face two counts of involuntary manslaughter, which each carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail. They also will be charged with an enhancement for use of a firearm which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.

The prosecutor also announced that David Halls, the film’s first assistant director, has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of “negligent use of a deadly weapon.” Halls handed the loaded Colt .45 to Baldwin. Under the plea agreement, Halls will be given six months of probation but will not serve jail time.

“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,” said Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor appointed by Carmack-Altwies to oversee the case, in a statement. “It’s that simple. The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set. In New Mexico, there is no room for film sets that don’t take our state’s commitment to gun safety and public safety seriously.”

Judge Jeanine Pirro of FOX News spoke to the prosecutors on Thursday afternoon. Watch:

In December of 2021, Legal Insurrection’s Andrew Branca predicted a charge of involuntary manslaughter:

The only legally relevant facts to an analysis of whether Alec Baldwin appears to have committed felony involuntary manslaughter is whether he pointed a loaded gun at Ms. Hutchins, and that gun discharged and killed her without any intervening event between pointing and death that could relieve Alec Baldwin of legal responsibility.

Given that these facts are uncontested, even by Baldwin himself, and really appear incontestable under any circumstances, there can be little doubt that Alec Baldwin’s conduct in causing Ms. Hutchin’s death qualifies as felony involuntary manslaughter under New Mexico law.

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Comments

If a friend hands me a gun and tells me it is unloaded before I point it at someone and pull the trigger, then I am pretty sure I am going to prison if that shot kills someone.

What legally relevant defense can be offered?

    johnnytremain in reply to Dathurtz. | January 20, 2023 at 8:34 am

    Weren’t there supposed to be blank rounds in the gun anyway? If so, you’d expect to see it loaded.
    For normal situations, for sure…check and remove whatever you see in the chambers.

    Milhouse in reply to Dathurtz. | January 20, 2023 at 8:41 am

    The defense would be to challenge your premise. Who says that’s the standard? There’s certainly no statute that says so. Your premise is based on the rules of gun safety that you learned, and that are commonly understood in your circles. Probably taught by the NRA or someone with roots in the same culture as the NRA.

    The defense would say that, at least in Baldwin’s industry, the relevant standard is different, and in that culture it is generally understood that it is not his duty to check that the gun is unloaded. He is expected to trust the armorer, whose job it is to check that.

    It’s also an industry in which “unloaded” is the default state for guns, whereas in your culture “loaded” is the default state, since an unloaded gun isn’t of much use. The reason you check it is to make sure it’s loaded, not to make sure it’s unloaded. You don’t want to be caught with an unloaded gun when you suddenly need to use it. Whereas in his industry guns are useful when unloaded and not much use when loaded, so the reason to check it is to make sure it’s unloaded.

    One relevant point: In your culture, even if you know a gun is unloaded, because you just checked it yourself, it’s still unthinkable to point it at someone and pull the trigger. You just don’t do that. In his job you have to do that, or at least something close. So the cultures and expectations are different and you can’t argue from one to the other.

      4rdm2 in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2023 at 8:50 am

      Except that ISNT the standard in the film industry Milhouse.

      Flatworm in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2023 at 9:43 am

      First, it is highly dubious that it is acceptable by industry standards to point a real gun at a person and pull the trigger, based only on the assistant director’s assurances it was safe.

      Second, even if that were the standard, it’s an unconscionable one, that nobody should be able to rely on in court. It’s not just Dathurtz’s little circle that finds this practice unthinkable – it’s literally every group apart from criminals that uses guns: the NRA, every branch of the armed services, every police department, every DNR, even the Boy Scouts. If (and that’s a big if) Hollywood really did reject that standard, it would be like rejecting the germ theory of disease. It’s so far outside universal norms that it’s no standard at all.

      The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2023 at 10:01 am

      “It’s also an industry in which “unloaded” is the default state for guns, whereas in your culture “loaded” is the default state, since an unloaded gun isn’t of much use.”

      Where is it stated that “unloaded” is the default on sets?

      Aside from that, I don’t care of you are an actor, director, or the lady keeping the coffee urns full at the catering table. If you accept possession of a firearm, you blasted well better know gun safety.

      If you don’t, you refuse to accept the firearm. Period.

        your right GG ..
        I saw on another site one question would have to be asked …

        1. if the script called for you to point the gun at your own head and pull the trigger, would you check and verify the gun was safe first.

      Stuytown in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2023 at 10:05 am

      Dathurtz is correct. Look up the statute.

      Paula in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2023 at 10:08 am

      In the movies they can make it look like you’re pointing a gun a someone without actually pointing a gun at someone.

      NotCoach in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2023 at 10:13 am

      Except that the relevant standard in the movie industry is not different. Everyone who handles a weapon on a set, plus those who might consider themselves in the line of fire such as cameramen, are supposed to check the weapon. This was actually covered extensively in several places when this shooting happened. When Brandon Lee died on set Hollywood implemented this standard industrywide. That accident happened several decades ago.

      alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2023 at 12:25 pm

      “Loaded firearm”…. there are safety issues with blanks as noted in the death of an actor playing roulette with blanks years ago on the set as a prank. Also, the Brandon Lee death comes to mind where a primed but not charged cartridge pushed a bullet into the barrel and the blank that followed propelled the bullet out of the barrel.. However, there is the expectation of the firearm being loaded with blanks. There is a chain of responsibility. that decreases from armorer on to Balwin. The concern is for the presence of live ammo at the filming site. Any other caliber different than used for movie would not be an issue. Who loaded the firearm? Were there similar blanks to the Lee case. “Realism” would dictate seeing bullets in the cylinders.

      CommoChief in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2023 at 12:26 pm

      His attorneys will almost certainly use that argument to claim the procedures of the film industry override the very basic safe firearms handling measures that have existed from time immemorial. Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded is the first and most important of those measures. I doubt a jury is gonna buy the argument that the movie industry should be exempt from the statues applicable to everyone else.

        RandomCrank in reply to CommoChief. | January 20, 2023 at 1:21 pm

        The “four rules” are great, and I follow them myself. But they are not statutes. They are recommendations. What will matter a lot more is that Baldwin has experience with guns on sets, and has both followed safety procedures and is on record being aware of them. It’ll add up to negligence, and maybe recklessness.

          CommoChief in reply to RandomCrank. | January 20, 2023 at 7:57 pm

          RC,

          The statute for involuntary manslaughter in NM is very straightforward. Holding, pointing and discharge of a firearm resulting in the death of a person meets the statutory criteria for involuntary manslaughter in NM.

          FYI Contributory negligence of another is specifically precluded as a defense to involuntary manslaughter in NM. Ordinary negligence is all that is required. Refusing to follow basic firearm safety rules is ordinary negligence.

          You make a good point about Baldwin’s firearm experience though the defense will attempt to play the ‘film industry’ is different card. Won’t work, IMO. NM does have an online firearms safety course FWIW.

          RandomCrank in reply to RandomCrank. | January 20, 2023 at 8:21 pm

          One thing to remember is that prosecutorial quality varies. Another thing to remember is that a judge can throw out the case at a preliminary hearing. So conclusions have to be tentative.

          If it does get to trial, Baldwin’s going to be hung with his own words. Such as these in his incredibly stupid December 2021 ABC “News” interview. When asked about George Clooney’s criticism of how he handled the gun, Baldwin said this:

          “Well, there were a lot of people who felt it necessary to contribute some comment to the situation, which really didn’t help the situation, at all. If your protocol is you checked the gun every time, well, good for you. Good for you. I probably handled weapons as much as any other actor in films with an average career. Again, shooting or being shot by someone, and in that time, I had a protocol and it never let me down.”

          So he touts his experience and says he has a protocol. Uh-huh. And he’s going to portray himself as some sort of naive newbie? I don’t think so. Not to mention his lie about firing without pulling the trigger. If he’s not able to buy any judges (big “if,” seeing as how corrupt New Mexico is), Alec Baldwin is toast.

          henrybowman in reply to RandomCrank. | January 21, 2023 at 1:43 am

          Baldwin was an absolute idiot. Absolutely the stupidest thing in the world to say:

          “If your protocol is you checked the gun every time, well, good for you. Good for you. I probably handled weapons as much as any other actor in films with an average career. Again, shooting or being shot by someone, and in that time, I had a protocol and it never let me down.”

          Right up until you killed someone.
          Unlike all those other people, who never did.

          RandomCrank in reply to RandomCrank. | January 21, 2023 at 11:15 am

          Baldwin’s lawyers must have torn their hair out watching that stupid, stupid, stupid, STUPID performance. Or maybe they smiled and thought: “Ka-ching!” Either way, that show was a real Rubicon-crossing moment for the god damn fool.

      RandomCrank in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2023 at 12:36 pm

      All I can think, Milhouse, is that you have followed this only occasionally. If you were steeped in it (raising my hand) I think you’d have a different view. You can start with this:

      https://nypost.com/2021/11/16/george-clooney-calls-alec-baldwins-rust-shooting-insane/

      It gets much worse for Baldwin, but I’ll stop with that link.

        RandomCrank in reply to RandomCrank. | January 20, 2023 at 1:17 pm

        I wonder if the prosecution will call Clooney to testify about industry practices. Milhouse, have you noticed that NO prominent actors have emerged on Baldwin’s side? I have one insider source who has told me twice that Baldwin is poorly regarded in Hollywood. He’s seen as an arrogant jerk, which might help explain why he doesn’t live there. No industry friends.

          I doubt it will come in as it’s in no way relevant.

          RandomCrank in reply to RandomCrank. | January 20, 2023 at 4:46 pm

          I think Clooney’s comments were quite relevant. Also in his ABC “News” interview, Baldwin stressed his experience with guns in other productions and said he had followed a “protocol.” The guy’s words will bury him.

          So rules of evidence vary from state to state, but like the rules of professional conduct, are somewhat similar

          What would Clooney have to say that could be relevant?

          He’s not a witness, and the facts aren’t in dispute
          Industry practices are totally irrelevant, the statute is strict liability in that a gun is an inherently dangerous instrument

          ‘industry practices’ might support the same charge amongst additional parties but there is no idustry practices exception,defense or comment in the statute or authorities stemming from it

          RandomCrank in reply to RandomCrank. | January 21, 2023 at 12:37 pm

          I’m no lawyer, so maybe it’s irrelevant in court. I was thinking about the logic, but how that’s presented — or if it even has to be — is another matter.

          My logic is that the prosecution would want to show common industry practice, with Clooney’s comments being part of that. But I could imagine this being too far afield, and cast by the defense as a mere opinion. Perhaps the Screen Actors Guild’s 2009 rules will suffice, along with Baldwin’s own statements bearing on the safe handling of guns on movie sets.

          Also, it’s apparent (via Branca, et al) that New Mexico manslaugher law is written tightly enough, and fits the curcumstances closely enough, that “industry practice” is legally irrelevant. This would surprise me, but life has its surprises.

          I’m speaking to the legal proceedings only
          When trying to get a witness in, the judge typically asks what it is this witness is going to present

          Andrew Branca said the following of the jury charge, therefor I see Clooney of having nothing to say that would prove or disprove the elements

          3.
          For you to find the defendant guilty the State must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt

          1. That Alec Baldwin pointed a loaded gun at Ms. Hutchins and pulled the trigger
          2. Alec Baldwin should have known of the danger involved by Alec Baldwin’s actions
          3. Alec Baldwin acted with willful disregard for the safety of others/ Ms Hutchins
          4. Alec Baldwin act caused death
          5. Happened in New Mexico

          RandomCrank in reply to RandomCrank. | January 21, 2023 at 1:00 pm

          I think industry standards would be relevant to decisions 2 and 3. That said, I repeat that I’m not a lawyer and therefore I can only guess how the law gets applied in a real courtroom.

          If you look at who’s commented “out there” as opposed to in here, Baldwin has no prominent Hollywood defenders thus far. Is this relevant in court? I don’t know. I can readily understand how it would be deemed irrelevant. If I’m the judge, will I allow a parade of actors (to be arranged by the defense) to waddle through and give what are essentially their opinions?

          The more I think about it, the less inclined I am to think that Clooney will be heading to New Mexico for this case.

      Dathurtz in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2023 at 12:39 pm

      Thank you. People are jumping on you, but you answered my question.

      mbecker908 in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2023 at 3:44 pm

      The Screen Actors Guild’s written rules on safety in film and television make clear that actors should never point a firearm at anyone.

      Written in 2009, the 65-page safety bulletin lays out the rules for all kinds of safety issues, but on the subject of how actors should use firearms, SAG is unambiguous:

      Treat all weapons as though they are loaded and/or ready to use. Do not play with weapons and never point one at anyone, including yourself. Follow the directions of the Property Master and/or Weapons Handler regarding all weapons. [emphasis original]

      That’s from https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2021/10/25/nolte-sag-rules-say-actors-should-never-point-firearm-at-anyone/

      New Mexico involuntary manslaughter involving an inherently dangerous instrument is strict liability

      Here’s what I was able to get from Andrew Branca
      Jury charge:

      For you to find the defendant guilty the State must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt

      1. That Alec Baldwin pointed a loaded gun at Ms. Hutchins and pulled the trigger
      2. Alec Baldwin should have known of the danger involved by Alec Baldwin’s actions
      3. Alec Baldwin acted with willful disregard for the safety of others/ Ms Hutchins
      4. Alec Baldwin’s act caused death
      5. Happened in New Mexico

      “movie set” is not mentioned

      Other’s liability for having placed the live round in the gun is, NM Supreme Court
      “It could have made no difference to the trial of a charge of involuntary manslaughter as to who loaded the gun or whether the person handling the gun was sober or drinking or whether he had loaded the gun while drinking intoxicants. All that it is necessary to establish for involuntary manslaughter by the use of a loaded firearm is that a defendant had in his hands a gun which at some time had been loaded and that he handled it, whether drunk, drinking or sober, without due caution and circumspection and that death resulted.” -State v. Gilliam, 288 P. 2d 675 – NM: Supreme Court 1955 Not Terry Gillium) 🙂

        RandomCrank in reply to rduke007. | January 21, 2023 at 12:50 pm

        In that case, the shooter had been drinking. The N.M. Supreme Court specifically addressed that issue:

        “It could have made no difference to the trial of a charge of involuntary manslaughter as to who loaded the gun or whether the person handling the gun was sober or drinking or whether he had loaded the gun while drinking intoxicants. All that it is necessary to establish for involuntary manslaughter by the use of a loaded firearm is that a defendant had in his hands a gun which at some time had been loaded and that he handled it, whether drunk, drinking or sober, without due caution and circumspection and that death resulted.”

        Still, we weren’t in the jury room. I find it non-credible that, notwithstanding the supreme court statement, the jury didn’t take the drinking into account when finding negligence. Thus, while the 1955 case would appear, in the abstract, to be directly on point, in the real world I’m not quite buying it.

    Ghostrider in reply to Dathurtz. | January 20, 2023 at 9:34 am

    CNN — Thu December 2, 2021

    Alec Baldwin told ABC News he never pulled the trigger of the gun that shot director of photography Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust.”

    “The trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger,” Baldwin said in an excerpt released Wednesday from the sit-down interview – his first since the October shooting.

    In the immortal words of the great Tommy Boy, “That’s going to leave a mark.”

      RandomCrank in reply to Ghostrider. | January 20, 2023 at 12:37 pm

      Word to the wise: Don’t lie about guns in a country where 90 million people own 450 million of them.

      RandomCrank in reply to Ghostrider. | January 20, 2023 at 1:01 pm

      When I saw the interview on my DVR, I had to play it three times to get past my disbelief and near shock that the fool would go on television to begin with, and then claim to have hammer-fired that revolver.

      See, I’m a gun owner, including two single-action revolvers. I was one of the Unorganized Bubba Militia who laughed and shook their heads, knowing that a SAA’s internal sear will stop the hammer before it hits the primer and ignites the powder. If the sear is so damaged that it won’t stop the hammer, there will be a second effect: The gun won’t load in the usual manner, because a working sear is required to load a SAA through the loading gate. To load a gun whose sear is non-working, you have to remove the cylinder entirely, which is a real pain in the ass and would cause the gun to be returned to the prop house and exchanged for one that works.

      Still, I physically tested Baldwin’s claim, and could not get my SAAs to replicate it. And I tried. Then I studied the schematics of the Colt “Peacemaker” and the Pietta replica, along with the replica’s owner’s manual. Not only did Baldwin lie, but the replica has a screw-safety that was never used, and that would have made it impossible to fire the gun no matter what.

      Subsequent to Baldwin’s incredibly stupid interview, video of the incident emerged. They showed his finger inside the trigger guard. And last summer, the FBI Crime Lab issued a report that said their examination of the replica showed that Baldwin couldn’t have fired it without pulling the trigger.

      This will not go well for him. Alec Baldwin is in deep trouble. He’d better hope that the d.a. offers a plea to the lesser charge, otherwise he’s headed to the slammer for at least 5 years.

        RandomCrank in reply to RandomCrank. | January 20, 2023 at 3:10 pm

        I forgot to mention that, when I tested Baldwin’s absurd TV claim, I tested three separate times. I’m a retired old-school journalist, and learned many rules of what was once an honorable profession. One of those rules: “If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out.” I triple-checked this one, and then read the drawings and the replica’s owner’s manual. I’m 100% confident that I got the facts of the shooting, and the design of the gun, right.

      mbecker908 in reply to Ghostrider. | January 20, 2023 at 3:47 pm

      The FBI took the gun and tested it. They could not make it fire without pulling the trigger. Additionally, there are outtakes of Baldwin getting ready for the scene and drawing that gun. In every instance, when the gun comes out of the holster his finger is on the trigger.

    gonzotx in reply to Dathurtz. | January 20, 2023 at 11:35 am

    He won’t got to prison, bet on it, maybe 60-90 days of jail with “comment service..

    diver64 in reply to Dathurtz. | January 20, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    That Baldwin is not a “gun guy” and familiar with firearms so he was depending on professionals on the set to examine the gun, make sure it had blanks and not to have live ammo rolling around the set.
    I heard a very persuasive argument today that stated the Armorer was in far more jeopardy than Baldwin. As a firearms person myself, if I was on the jury I’d hang Baldwin out to dry as he was responsible for checking that firearm himself but I’m pretty sure his attorneys will work very hard to keep people like me off any jury.

      RandomCrank in reply to diver64. | January 20, 2023 at 4:49 pm

      You have not followed this closely. Baldwin has made clear in interviews, incuding the really stupid one in December 2021, that he’s quite experienced with guns on movie sets, to the point where he follows what he called a “protocol.” He’s not going to be able to pull off a “naivete” defense.

      CommoChief in reply to diver64. | January 20, 2023 at 8:02 pm

      In NM, contributory negligence is specifically precluded as a defense to involuntary manslaughter. Only the actions of the accused matter, ordinary negligence is all that is required.

      henrybowman in reply to diver64. | January 21, 2023 at 1:46 am

      “That Baldwin is not a “gun guy” and familiar with firearms”
      He is a Board Director of a national gun-safety organization for the entertainment industry.
      No matter which way he tries to play this, it’s going to be so deliciously embarrassing.

Colonel Travis | January 20, 2023 at 8:11 am

Plea deal, slap on the wrist for big fat movie star, resumes career
Novice armorer goes to jail, never hired again

Justice, American style.

    RandomCrank in reply to Colonel Travis. | January 20, 2023 at 12:40 pm

    If he’s offered a deal to plead guilty to the lesser charge in return for the greater one being dropped, Baldwin should jump at it. But it won’t surprise me if he doesn’t, given his personal history. He just might end up in a New Mexico prison, as crazy as that sounds.

      Another Voice in reply to RandomCrank. | January 20, 2023 at 4:12 pm

      Baldwin is too, too narcissistic as to humble himself to do a plea deal.

        RandomCrank in reply to Another Voice. | January 20, 2023 at 6:22 pm

        To me, that’ll be the big question, at least if the D.A. offers a plea deal. It would make sense for her to do that, because a conviction on the more serious charge would be followed by years of appeals. This is the major reason for plea bargaining: to avoid long, drawn out legal wrangling.

        If a plea is offered, will Baldwin be too addled by years of substance abuse along with his other personal problems (his temper and entitled attitude) to take it? Is he that stupid? Well, we’re all going to be able to watch him take the I.Q. test, won’t we?

I find the idea that a crime where someone dies by another’s hand is more serious and worthy of harsh punishment if done by a hand gun than a nail gun absurd.

. “Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set.”

It was reported they were using the same gun earlier for target practice, so everyone knew there were live rounds available.

    Not relevant. see Andrews analysis

      Paula in reply to rduke007. | January 20, 2023 at 10:12 am

      . “Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set. ”

      Which is not relevant? The above quote which comes from this article? Or, are you saying that it is not relevant to make any comments on what is in this article?

        RandomCrank in reply to Paula. | January 20, 2023 at 1:35 pm

        The fact that people were plinking with that gun (some reports are that Baldwin was one of the plinkers) should have made the assistant director, the prop master, the armorer, and Baldwin especially aware of the risk of live ammo being there. Not to mention that the people on set went on strike the day before, and cited the lack of gun safety as a reason.

        I don’t think the d.a. will have much trouble convincing a jury of negligence or of recklessness. Baldwin is in serious trouble. He’d better hope that the d.a. offers to drop the recklessness charge (5-year mandatory minimum) in return for a plea on the negligence charge (max 18 months + $5,000 but in practice likely probation.)

    Flatworm in reply to Paula. | January 20, 2023 at 10:30 am

    The statement is absurd and shows a poor grasp of the standard of care expected of anyone handling a firearm. Saying you had “no reason to believe it was loaded” is unavailing, as he had a well-established duty to be certain it was not loaded. It’s like closing your eyes and mashing the accelerator, then claiming you had “no reason to believe there were pedestrians in the crosswalk.”

    diver64 in reply to Paula. | January 20, 2023 at 4:27 pm

    But “not on set”. All live ammunition was supposed to be in a locked safe controlled by the Armorer.

      TempeJeff in reply to diver64. | January 20, 2023 at 9:10 pm

      According to the Sheriffs Dept., Alec had a live round on his gun belt during the scene he was rehearsing. Another live round, was on the table the gun was on prior to the shooting.

E Howard Hunt | January 20, 2023 at 9:17 am

Mr. Baldwin obviously did not intend to harm anyone. Despite the niceties of the law, it will come down to what the jury thinks of Mr. Baldwin. If as some reports suggest, he was showing off, twirling the gun and pointing it at people who were not in filmed scenes, he will most likely be convicted.

    That is why he is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

    There is a correlation here that makes this quite simple to understand. Do something negligent with your vehicle that results in another’s death and you would potentially face vehicular homicide charges, a charge that amounts to involuntary manslaughter.

      E Howard Hunt in reply to NotCoach. | January 20, 2023 at 10:53 am

      That is understood. The point is that in this lesser crime, the jury can more easily rationalize its decision based on its sympathy (or lack there of) with the accused.

        RandomCrank in reply to E Howard Hunt. | January 20, 2023 at 12:43 pm

        Baldwin lied about not pulling the trigger. He did it on national TV and subsequently. His lie is contradicted by video evidence and the FBI’s report. If it comes down to juror sentiment, I’d suggest that the big factor will be that juries don’t like liars.

        henrybowman in reply to E Howard Hunt. | January 21, 2023 at 1:53 am

        Keep in mind that the jury will be repeatedly reminded that there was a victim in this case, who happened to be an innocent, well-loved, talented photogenic female, as opposed to a swaggering recalcitrant asshole engaged in ripping off a taqueria at gunpoint.

t’s also an industry in which “unloaded” is the default state for guns, whereas in your culture “loaded” is the default state, since an unloaded gun isn’t of much use. The reason you check it is to make sure it’s loaded, not to make sure it’s unloaded.
___________________________________________________________

that’s ridiculous–for your own safety and the safety of those around you, unless it is YOUR weapon and YOU are the only to have handled it, ALWAYS check the state of ANY weapon that’s handed to you, whether told it’s loaded or not

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to texansamurai. | January 20, 2023 at 10:06 am

    Tex: what you have stated provides an example of why firearm safety should be taught in every school, starting very young.

    Whether it is he Eddie Eagle program from the much-despised NRA, from law enforcement personnel, or even volunteers from a local shooting club.

    Yes, there will be screaming-ninny parents objecting, but the training still needs to be there.

      texansamurai in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | January 20, 2023 at 10:45 am

      grizz:

      was taught from the age of eleven to check EVERY firearm i picked-up or that was handed to me–had a grandfather that gave me a .22 when learning to shoot but he kept the rifle at his place–on one trip there, took the rifle down from the rack in his barn and turned around to walk out into the field to practice a bit–got to the door and he stopped me and asked: “did you check it?”–he could see that i hadn’t–told him “no”–he took it from me, checked it himself, and told me to put it back in the rack–“no practice for a month,” he said–when i asked why, he said “you ALWAYS, ALWAYS check, even if I hand it to you.”–have never forgotten his lesson

        The Gentle Grizzly in reply to texansamurai. | January 20, 2023 at 11:01 am

        I had no firearms training in my youth. When I decided to give things a try, I got hold of a local gun shop and asked who was good.

        I got a number, called, and we met at a range somewhere around Chatsworth. Two men showed up, and ran me through the basics. They told me they would provide the ammo and firearms. Turned out to be a Browning Buckmark, and some sort of .22LR Beretta. The training was top-shelf in every way, and I even fired a S&W 9mm a few times.

        Turns out both were from Pink Pistols.

          I always start someone out on a Ruger Single Six. About as simple a gun as you can get and no recoil. The biggest plus is that you can pull the trigger with an F150 and nothing will happen until you pull back the hammer.

          RandomCrank in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | January 20, 2023 at 6:17 pm

          @diver, my fave SAA is a Heritage Rough Rider, which ships with a .22 LR cylinder and a .22 WMR cylinder. Great way to start, not only for the absence of recoil but because a SAA requires more attention to the gun’s mechanics and will be a better intro to how revolvers work.

        Your grandfather was a wise man.

    I wouldn’t count on a Hollywood actor knowing the four rules or how to check a gun is unloaded, let alone how to check whether it was loaded with blanks or live rounds. When someone hands the actor a gun, he counts on the armorer to have properly set it up for the scene being shot. So if Baldwin was _only_ an actor in this film, and if the reports of him _playing_ with the gun are wrong, he may be blameless.

    However, Baldwin was also one of the producers, and the producers are responsible for what seems a rushed, unsafe production. It’s likely that he shares responsibility both for the after-hours plinking that led to there being a live round on the set, and for the rush and disregard for safety rules that led to him being handed a gun that the armorer had not just checked. So I think it’s quite likely that a jury will reasonably find Baldwin responsible for part of the recklessness leading to the shooting.

    However, how in heck do they get two counts of involuntary manslaughter when only one person died?

      RandomCrank in reply to markm. | January 20, 2023 at 3:52 pm

      Baldwin has a long personal history with guns on sets, and with talking about it. This is not some newbie, 20-something actor. Other way around. If this goes to trial, Baldwin will be hung with his own words.

      diver64 in reply to markm. | January 20, 2023 at 4:32 pm

      That’s why Keanu Reeves is so impressive. Before Wick he got professional training from Taran. The video’s of him shooting 3 gun are great. There should be a rule in Hollywood that every actor and actress appearing in a movie that has any firearms must get professional training.

      henrybowman in reply to markm. | January 21, 2023 at 1:57 am

      “how in heck do they get two counts of involuntary manslaughter when only one person died?”
      It’s an either/or indictment. The jury gets to decide whether Baldwin’s conduct exceeded a given threshold of negligence or recklessness, then can decide to find him guilty on one or the other, but not both.

I imaging there will be testimony as to industry standards and practices.

I have trouble imagining an industry that lacks safety standards.

What I don’t understand is the two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Only one person died. A second was shot, but survived. Wouldn’t that be a different charge? Is this a quirk in New Mexico law I am unaware of?

    RandomCrank in reply to NotCoach. | January 20, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    It’s common for a single act to violate more than one law, and for multiple charges to be filed. In this case, the jury will have to choose which manslaughter version. They’ll be able to convict him of one of the two, but not both.

      NotCoach in reply to RandomCrank. | January 20, 2023 at 1:05 pm

      This implies different levels of involuntary manslaughter under New Mexico law?

        RandomCrank in reply to NotCoach. | January 20, 2023 at 1:12 pm

        There are different levels of manslaughter in every state. That said, I don’t claim to fully grasp the difference between the two counts, or why the jury will choose between them. I do know that he’s potentially looking at a 5-year minimum on the harsher count. I figure it’s a bargaining strategy on the d.a.’s part, along with the deal with the assistant director, who pled to a misdemeanor negligence carge in return for cooperation.

        I can easily imagine more serious and damning charges to arise from the guy’s testimony. If Baldwin has two brain cells left, he’d better hope that the d.a. offers a plea deal — guilty on the lesser charge, probation and a fine. Otherwise, I think he’s headed to New Mexico’s notoriously violent prison system.

          NotCoach in reply to RandomCrank. | January 20, 2023 at 1:20 pm

          I understand there are different levels of manslaughter in general, but was under the impression that typically involuntary manslaughter is only one level.

          RandomCrank in reply to RandomCrank. | January 20, 2023 at 1:27 pm

          I think that the lesser charge requires negligence, while the more serious one requires recklessness. This would explain why the jury has to choose between them. But yes, it’s a bit confusing, made more so by the usual media sloppiness. It’s taken me a ridiculous amount of time to re- re- re- re-check this, but I’m pretty sure that I finally got it right.

          NotCoach in reply to RandomCrank. | January 20, 2023 at 2:49 pm

          Thank you.

          TempeJeff in reply to RandomCrank. | January 20, 2023 at 9:14 pm

          Actually, the 5 year minimum is for using a firearm, that causes death. An enhancement of the statute.

          RandomCrank in reply to RandomCrank. | January 20, 2023 at 11:27 pm

          @Tempe, I think that the harsher charge requires a jury finding of recklessness, as opposed to negligence for the lesser charge. But I am the first to say that it’s confusing. I have spent WAY too much time on this detail!

          I think I have it right, but I’m not defensive. If my reading is incorrect, I want to know, but don’t reply with a link from NYT, WaPo, CBS, NBC, ABC, NPR, AP. Or Fox. The media are stupid, lazy, biased, and incompetent. Correct me, but authoritatively, and you will have my respect and sincere thanks.

    Another Voice in reply to NotCoach. | January 20, 2023 at 4:18 pm

    The reason for two counts is the jury will have an opportunity based on the evidence submitted to convict on one. Listen to the explanation by the D.A. and Special Prosecutor….Again.

    ugottabekiddinme in reply to NotCoach. | January 20, 2023 at 7:30 pm

    Two counts:
    Count One: involuntary manslaughter — maximum is 18 months in prison. Count Two: involuntary manslaughter with a firearm enhancement – – minimum of 5 years in prison.

I don’t understand — why TWO counts of manslaughter? Was somebody else killed? I know two people were injured, but only one was killed. Seems like there may be a charge for the other (living) person, but not manslaughter.

    The first charge is negligence that causes the death of another. The second is negligence that causes the death of another, with the use of a firearm. Both Alec and the armorer could be convicted and sentenced on the two charges, but the judge would probably make the sentences run concurrently.

      RandomCrank in reply to rbj1. | January 20, 2023 at 2:36 pm

      I’m pretty sure that the first one specifies negligence and the second one specifies recklessness. If the jury wants to convict, they’ll have to pick one or the other but not both. It’s confusing, but I think that’s how it works there.

    I wondered about that, too, and looked it up. I found this:

    Both Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed face two counts of involuntary manslaughter. They will be “charged in the alternative,” meaning a jury will decide not only if they are guilty, but under which definition of involuntary manslaughter they are guilty. To be found guilty of the first charge, involuntary manslaughter, the D.A.’s office must prove there was underlying negligence. The other charge is involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, which requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in a death.”

      RandomCrank in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | January 20, 2023 at 3:03 pm

      So it’s either negligence or recklessness. This is one of those stories that captured my interest right away, so I’ve been all over it. The negligence is as much physical as anything. The recklessness is shown by how Baldwin and the armorer — each of them — handled gun safety on the set.

      I have little doubt that the D.A. can show recklessness, but it’ll be a long, messy, expensive trial and appeals, so I also have little doubt that any D.A., whatever the politics, would prefer a guilty plea to the negligence charge, which carries a light penalty (in the real world, almost certainly probation + a $5,000 fine), to a long, drawn out trial and appeals on recklessness, which carries a mandatory minimumfive-year prison sentence.

      From Baldwin’s view, if he’s rational he’d prefer a plea to the lesser charge, but it will be costly both to his career and in the civil suits. (Of course, a recklessness conviction would be even costlier.) Baldwin is a drunk, an addict, and a hot-head egomaniac, so it’s entirely conceivable that he’ll climb Mt. Stupid and try to brazen it out. We shall see.

      Lawful act like Acting? What lawful act are we talking about here unless it’s in performance of a movie role?

        No idea. That’s all a quote. I haven’t really followed this at all since it first happened, so I can’t offer more than what I read here and at the provided link.

        RandomCrank in reply to diver64. | January 20, 2023 at 6:14 pm

        Shooting a gun is lawful unless it’s otherwise prohibited. If someone shoots and kills someone else, and the act of shooting is negligent or reckless, then involuntary manslaughter comes into play. That’s what the logic would suggest, anyway.

        henrybowman in reply to diver64. | January 21, 2023 at 1:59 am

        I think it means in the absence of committing another crime (like during a holdup).

    ugottabekiddinme in reply to rustyshamrock. | January 20, 2023 at 7:31 pm

    Two counts:
    Count One: involuntary manslaughter — maximum is 18 months in prison. Count Two: involuntary manslaughter with a firearm enhancement – – minimum of 5 years in prison.

If Saturday Night Live was still in the comedy business, they’d invite Donald Trump on the show to do an Alec Baldwin impersonation.

To fuck or not to fuck is the question. Reasonable scalpel… gun control implies rights and responsibilities.

diver

I always start someone out on a Ruger Single Six. About as simple a gun as you can get and no recoil. The biggest plus is that you can pull the trigger with an F150 and nothing will happen until you pull back the hammer.
_______________________________________________________

agree–baldwin was handling a colt saa variant so also a very simple / safe handgun–believe could not have fired one of those without the pistol being in battery and the trigger affirmatively squeezed/depressed–no other way to make it fire

like revolvers–had a couple of blackhawks in .41 mag–my all-time favourite though is a .357 python bought back in the ’80s–without a doubt the smoothest, slickest most accurate double-action have ever fired–you need the smoked glasses at night though as the muzzle/cylinder flash (like the .41 and .44 rugers) is significant

BierceAmbrose | January 20, 2023 at 6:06 pm

Fascinating possible defenses in the comments arguing that Glenngarry, there, is too stupid, clueless, or unaware to be actually responsible for the folks shot down range via the gun in his hand.

I wonder, do the same immunities hold for firing off words which are, we’ve been told, harmful violence.

How does a single death generate two charges of involuntary manslaughter?

Baldwin as a human being has the moral requirement to obey the 4 rules of gun handling. Doesn’t matter if he’s on a movie set or his prior experience with guns. He failed as a human to protect his fellow humans from harm whilst handling a lethal weapon. and all the baloney excuses are just that. My own family members were all sympathetic to him and I asked them “if I handed you a pistol would you point it at somebody and pull the trigger without checking it?”

    JimWoo in reply to JimWoo. | January 20, 2023 at 9:21 pm

    And just to add. If you cleared and inspected a firearm within my sight and presence; I would do it again myself before I point it at anything or put my finger on the trigger. I have done this and have had it done after I passed a weapon to someone and never received any question about it.

    RandomCrank in reply to JimWoo. | January 20, 2023 at 10:58 pm

    A “moral requirement” + $4 buys something at Starbucks. This is about the legal issues.

      henrybowman in reply to RandomCrank. | January 21, 2023 at 2:01 am

      It would be hard for New Mexico case law to be clearer on this issue. The controlling case almost identically tracks the Rust case.