What do legal experts say ‘bold’ indictment decisions mean for Alec Baldwin?

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A decision by New Mexico authorities to charge Alec Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter Rust the shooting of Halyna Hutchins has been called “brutal” and “aggressive” by legal experts.

The charges against Baldwin and other crew members were announced Thursday by Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and Special Prosecutor Andrea Reeb.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s gunsmith, is expected to be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter over the shooting.

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The film’s assistant director, Dave Halls, has already signed a plea deal to the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon.

The district attorney says charges will be formally filed before the end of January and charges against Baldwin will carry a maximum of 18 months in prison.

Former prosecutors and lawyers have responded to the decision to criminally charge the Hollywood star for the October 2021 shooting.

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“Prosecutors have taken a bold step in indicting Baldwin,” former Los Angeles County Prosecutor Joshua Ritter, who is a partner of El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, said. UKTN.

He has some defenses built in with the fact that he wasn’t the person responsible for making sure the gun was cleared and there were several people on set whose job it was to make sure everything was safe. But at the end of the day, he had the gun in his hands.”

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And he added: “I find it amazing how much Baldwin has talked about this case since the shooting. His lawyers need to sit on his chest until this plays out, because the more he opens his mouth, the worse he makes it for himself.

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The Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe where the tragedy unfolded

(UKTN)

Trial attorney and former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, called it “an aggressive indictment decision by District Attorney Carmack-Altwies.”

“The prosecution will try to prove that Baldwin had a duty to inspect the gun himself, he knew it had been fired before, he pulled the trigger despite denying it, that his finger should not have been near the trigger his, he shouldn’t have strained.” the hammer, or a combination of those factors,” he said.

Baldwin will argue that he reasonably relied on Halls’ statement that it was a “cold gun.” The fact that Halls has already agreed to plead guilty means he is likely collaborating with the state against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed.

And he says he expects Baldwin to “get a lot of sympathy” if the case goes to trial.

“Jurors love celebrities, there is no question that celebrities do better than regular people in court. Even if a deal was on the table, Baldwin probably wouldn’t accept it. He has a lot of money to put together a top-class legal team and he has a good defense because he had every reason to believe that the weapon handed to him was safe,” he said.

Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies speaking at a press conference in October 2021

(UKTN)

Los Angeles personal injury attorney Miguel Custodio, the co-founder of Custodio and Dubey LLP, said the district attorney “made the right decision” in filing charges in the case.

“Baldwin pulled the trigger, he has to be responsible, plain and simple. Obviously no one else pulled the trigger. And you have to charge the person who pulled the trigger. The prosecution made the right decision,’ he said.

“A lot of things came into play regarding the decision to charge Baldwin. There was a lot of pressure to charge him, but I also think they would have charged someone else in this scenario. The officer’s office Justice just did what they normally would, follow protocol and do their job.

And he added that he doesn’t believe there will be “a lot of sympathy” for Baldwin.

“He was the producer, it was his project and he, along with other producers, chose to make it a low-budget film. Baldwin had some degree of control over how much would be spent on security measures, meaning he had some say in choosing the gunmaker’s experience level. Besides, he was the one who pulled the trigger.”

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