Rust’s defense is preparing a motion to dismiss the case of manslaughter
An image of cinematographer Halina Hutchins, who died after Alec Baldwin was shot while filming his film Rust, is displayed at a vigil in her honor in Albuquerque, NM, October 23, 2021.
Kevin Mohat | Reuters
Lawyers for Hannah Gutierrez-Reid, the gunsmith in the original Rust movie, plan to file a motion to have her criminal charges dropped in the next two weeks, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Rust star and producer Alec Baldwin is also accused in the case. If approved, a motion for dismissal on Gutierrez-Reed’s behalf would not automatically result in the charges being dropped against Baldwin, according to another person familiar with the matter.
Both individuals declined to be named due to the sensitive nature of the proceedings.
Baldwin’s lawyers could not be contacted for comment.
Baldwin, best known for his roles in The Hunt for Red October and Beetlejuice, and Gutierrez-Reed are charged with two counts of manslaughter in connection with the death on set of cinematographer Galina Hutchins in October 2021. pleaded not guilty, held the gun that fired the bullet that killed Hutchins. Gutierrez Reid also He pleaded not guiltyaccording to the district attorney.
The jury will decide which count of manslaughter applies in this case. Either clause carries up to 18-month sentences.
The motion to dismiss followed a series of missteps by the Santa Fe prosecutor’s office that handled the case. Recently, It is reported by The New York Times. that the former special prosecutor for the case, Andrea Rib, suggested in an email dated June 9, 2022 that working on the case could help her political career.
“However, at some point, I would like to at least state that I am helping you…as it might help my campaign, lol,” Reeb said in an email to New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altvis. The Times reported on Tuesday.
“I intend to either introduce you or send this in a press release when we get an investigation!” Carmack-Oltvis replied. The district attorney’s office did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
In August, Reeb was announced as a special prosecutor, and last fall she was elected to the New Mexico legislature. She resigned as special counsel last week after Baldwin’s defense attempted to disqualify her. Lawyers for Gutierrez-Reid signed the petition. They argued that her work on the case violated New Mexico’s constitution, as she served as both a prosecutor and a legislator.
Following the release of the emails, Baldwin’s lawyers said Tuesday in court documents that they now reserve the right to argue in the future that “Reeb commissioned this case to advance her political career.” They added that it was “another abuse of the system and another violation of Mr. Baldwin’s constitutional rights.”
Alec Baldwin on October 7, 2021 at the Hamptons International Film Festival.
Mark Sagliocco | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
In response to Baldwin’s lawsuits, Reeb told CNBC that the manslaughter allegations “were not politically motivated.”
“I was already elected at the time of the decision to indict. Mr. Baldwin’s lawyers continue to shift their client’s situation onto everyone else… ignoring Mr. Baldwin’s personal responsibility for his actions,” Reeb added.
The prosecution also previously dropped a so-called “firearm improvement” charge that carries a mandatory five-year prison sentence after Baldwin’s defense pointed out that the law was not in effect at the time of the shooting.
In addition, the DA’s office made a series of heated public statements that some lawyers say could turn jurors against Baldwin. For example, after a firearm upgrade charge It was droppedA spokesman for the district attorney’s office said, “The prosecution’s priority is to ensure fairness, not to provide paid hours for city attorneys.”
The DA’s office has yet to announce who will take Reeb’s position as special prosecutor in the case, but Baldwin’s attorneys have also said they reserve the right to challenge the future appointment.
Baldwin and the film’s other producers also faced a civil lawsuit filed by Hutchins’ mother, father, and sister.