Crime and Safety

Solomon: New Mexico moves closer to justice in Alec Baldwin case

A little over a year ago I wrote about how remarkable that the State of New Mexico has yet to bring criminal charges against Alec Baldwin in connection with the death of Halina Hutchins.

Born in Ukraine, Hutchins was pronounced dead at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque on October 21, 2021, as a result of Baldwin shooting her with an old-fashioned revolver.

Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Oltvis said in a written letter Thursday morning. statement shared with the media, “After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, I have come to the conclusion that there is enough evidence to file criminal cases against Alec Baldwin and other members of the Rust crew.

Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reid, a gunsmith on set, will be charged with two counts of manslaughter. Stat NM § 30-2-3 (2018). David Halls, the film’s assistant director, has already pleaded guilty to negligent use of a lethal weapon under Stat NM § 30-7-4 (2018).

Criminal Lawyer Krenar Camily explains the delay between the shooting and today’s announcement of the criminal charges against Baldwin: “For these charges to be brought, the DA’s office must be convinced that Alec Baldwin and others criminally neglected safety on the set of the film they were filming. These are very serious allegations.”

As Carmack-Oltwis astutely added, as he assured everyone that the charges would be filed within the next two weeks in New Mexico First District Court, “In my eyes, no one is above the law and everyone deserves justice.”

What is justice and what is not in this case should have nothing to do with Baldwin’s celebrity. He should be treated just like any other person. What matters here is a set of facts and nothing more.

There are strong arguments that these facts look bad for Baldwin.

While Baldwin filed a civil negligence countersuit against crew members in the wake of the tragic events on the set in New Mexico, it has become clear since the day of Hutchins’ murder that law enforcement never considered the facts of the story to be complete. With today’s announcement of the indictments, the case is moving closer to justice.

The end result of the charges announced today could be that Baldwin is found guilty of a felony.

New Mexico state law classifies manslaughter as a fourth-degree felony, with a maximum sentence of up to 18 months in a state prison. For Baldwin, however, things could get much worse.

Alternatively, a jury may find manslaughter in the course of a lawful act. According to the District Attorney’s statement:

“Another charge is manslaughter while committing an unlawful act. This accusation requires proof that the death was due to more than mere negligence. It is also a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. This fee includes firearm upgrades or an additional mandatory fine because a firearm was involved. The improvement of firearms makes the crime punishable by a mandatory five years in prison.”

What is clear today is that the Santa Fe County District Attorney deliberately spent all the time she needed to ensure that justice was done for both the Hutchins family and the people of New Mexico.

The views expressed in this article are those of their author and are not necessarily shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in publishing a commentary in The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process. here.

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