The Santa Fe County D.A. has gotta be a little embarrassed today … dropping a key charge against Alec Baldwin that now means even if convicted he might not spend any time behind bars.
The D.A. dropped the gun enhancement charge in the case … this after Baldwin’s lawyer filed a motion excoriating prosecutors for going after the actor using a law that didn’t apply.
As we reported, Baldwin has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Halyna Hutchins. The D.A. initially tacked on the gun enhancement charge — i.e., using a gun to commit the crime. Problem is, at the time of the shooting, New Mexico law provided a gun enhancement charge could only apply if the gun was “brandished” — meaning the gun was displayed with intent to intimidate or injure a person. That’s clearly not the case with Baldwin.
For some reason, the D.A. felt Baldwin could be charged with a recent amendment to the gun enhancement law, that doesn’t require brandishing. Thing is … that law was not enacted until 7 months after the shooting.
The D.A. belatedly saw it Baldwin’s way and dropped the gun enhancement.
Here’s why it matters … if the gun enhancement charge stuck and Baldwin was convicted, he’d face a minimum of 5 years in prison. Now that it’s been 86’d, if Baldwin is convicted of involuntary manslaughter, he’d face up to 18 months behind bars, but the judge could give him less … or even probation.
The D.A. also dropped the gun enhancement charge against armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.