Alec Baldwin’s lawyers say authorities destroyed gun in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting
Hilaria Baldwin and Alec Baldwin speak for the first time regarding the accidental shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, and wounded director Joel Souza on the set of the film “Rust”, on October 30, 2021 in Manchester, Vermont.
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Alec Baldwin’s lawyers said Thursday that New Mexico authorities destroyed the firearm that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on set of the movie “Rust.”
“The court, I don’t think is aware of this point, but I think I should tell the court that the firearm in this case … was destroyed by the state,” Alex Spiro, one of Baldwin’s lawyers, said during a hearing Thursday. “That’s obviously an issue and we’re going to need to see that firearm, or what’s left of it.”
Prosecutors didn’t respond to Spiro’s assertion during the hearing. They didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Baldwin, star and producer of “Rust,” was holding the gun when it killed Hutchins. He has denied he pulled the trigger.
Lawyers for Baldwin and the film’s original armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, appeared virtually at the Thursday status hearing. The defendants are charged with two different types of involuntary manslaughter following the October 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Both counts carry a maximum possible sentence of 18 months in prison. A jury will decide which of the two counts, if any, to convict on.
The prosecution is already facing pressure for some mistakes it’s made since launching the criminal case just over a month ago. For example, the potential 18-month prison sentence is a lower penalty than Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed were initially up against.
Special prosecutor Andrea Reeb had originally mischarged Baldwin with a firearm enhancement that would add five more years to his sentence if convicted. Reeb admitted in emails to Baldwin’s lawyers that she had incorrectly applied that enhancement, which was not in effect at the time of the shooting.
Baldwin’s lawyers filed a motion on Feb. 7 for Reeb to recuse herself from the case, which she rejected on Monday.
Reeb is simultaneously serving as special prosecutor on the “Rust” case while serving as a Republican state legislator. New Mexico’s constitution prohibits a member of one branch of government from exercising the power of another branch.
The DA’s office claimed in Monday’s court filings that because special prosecutors “do not fit squarely” within either the executive or judicial branch, the “logical conclusion” is that special prosecutors belong to neither branch. In their February motion, Baldwin’s lawyers had conversely argued that the power of prosecution cannot be neatly categorized as either executive or judicial because it falls into both branches.
A hearing on the disqualification motion will is scheduled for March 27.
(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Times Of Nation staff and is published from a www.cnbc.com feed.)
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