Alec Baldwin calls out New Mexico prosecutors’ ‘extraordinary’ media briefings
Alec Baldwin has called out New Mexico prosecutors for their “extraordinary” media briefings after an enhancement on one of his involuntary manslaughter charges was dropped.
The actor’s legal team said that as the “legally erroneous” enhancement had been rescinded, their own previous motion to have the charge dropped was now “moot”.
Baldwin has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter by the DA’s office, over the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021.
A firearm enhancement added to the second count, which would have made the crime punishable by a mandatory five years in jail, was dropped by the District Attorney’s office on Monday.
The DA said the decision had been made “in order to avoid further litigious distractions” by Baldwin and his legal team.
But in a filing to withdraw their motion on Monday, representatives for Baldwin said members of the prosecution team had “amplified the error” by giving interviews on national television.
“In light of the government’s concession that its decision to charge the enhancement was legally erroneous, the motion is now moot,” the filing read.
“Members of the prosecution team had amplified the error in the original information by repeatedly giving interviews on national television in which they erroneously claimed that the enhancement was not only applicable to Mr Baldwin, but mandatory, and that Mr Baldwin was facing an additional five years in prison as a result.
“(Our) motion clarified that the prosecutors’ basic legal error meant that Mr Baldwin faces, at most, a sentence of 18 months, and that the enhancement is entirely inapplicable.”
The DA had previously labelled Baldwin’s motion as an attempt by the actor and his “fancy attorneys” to “distract from the gross negligence”.
The withdrawal notice added that since the firearm enhancement had carried “the greatest legal penalty” it should have demanded “careful consideration by the government”.
“Instead, a spokesperson for the government immediately issued an extraordinary statement to the media characterising the motion as an ‘attempt to distract’ from the case by Mr Baldwin’s ‘fancy attorneys’,” it stated.
Baldwin is due to appear for the first time in a US court on Friday.
He also faces a separate civil lawsuit, filed on February 9 by the family of Ms Hutchins.
The family are suing Baldwin and the Rust movie production company for alleged battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and loss of consortium.
Loss of consortium is a claim which seeks to recover compensation for damage to certain relationships that are mutually dependent.