1 of 2 | The request from Alec Baldwin’s attorneys to drop a five-year gun-enhancement charge against the actor in the case of the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins has been granted. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI. | License Photo
Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The request from Alec Baldwin's attorneys to drop a five-year gun-enhancement charge against the actor has been granted.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the Sante Fe District Attorney's Office dropped the charge against Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed on Monday. Baldwin still faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during production of the film Rust.
Conviction on the gun-enhancement charge carries a mandatory five-year sentence. If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Baldwin would face an 18-month sentence.
"In order to avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys, the District Attorney and the special prosecutor have removed the firearm enhancement to the involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the 'Rust' film set," Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a statement obtained by ABC News.
"The prosecution's priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys," Carmack-Altwies said.
On Feb. 10, Baldwin's team filed a motion challenging the gun enhancement, arguing prosecutors in New Mexico made an error by applying it to the case against the actor because it did not exist in its current iteration when the incident took place, according to Variety.
"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," Baldwin's attorneys wrote, reported by Variety.
Hutchins was killed by a live round from a prop Colt .45 revolver that was in the hands of Baldwin on the set of the film on Oct. 21, 2021. She was 42 years old.
The lawsuit against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed alleges that Baldwin was not properly trained to handle the weapon and he was too distracted to use it safely.
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed also face a civil suit from the family of Hutchins. Her parents and sister seek compensation for battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence.
In October, Baldwin reached a settlement with Hutchins' estate, controlled by her husband, Matthew Hutchins. As part of the agreement, Matthew Hutchins will be named as an executive producer on Rust.