Alec Baldwin‘s involuntary manslaughter charge in the case of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins‘ fatal shooting has been downgraded.
Prosecutors for the District Attorney of Santa Fe County in New Mexico dropped a five-year gun enhancement attached to Baldwin’s charge, significantly reducing his possible prison sentence if he were to be convicted, according to court documents filed on Feb. 17 and obtained by E! News.
The five-year firearm enhancement has also been dropped against Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who is facing the same involuntary manslaughter charge as Baldwin in connection to Hutchins’ death.
The legal change comes a week after Baldwin’s attorneys filed a motion to throw out the enhancement. Per a filing obtained by E! News on Feb. 10, the actor’s legal team accused prosecutors of charging him with a firearm enhancement that did not apply at the time of the shooting.
“The prosecutors committed a basic legal error by charging Mr. Baldwin under a version of the firearm-enhancement statute that did not exist on the date of the accident,” the court document read. “It thus appears that the government intended to charge the current version of the firearm enhancement statute, which was not enacted until May 18, 2022, seven months after the accident.”