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After Alec Baldwin’s Charges are Downgraded in the Rust Shooting Case, Legal Experts Predict the Actor Would Plead Not Guilty and Face a Trial, Instead of Taking a Plea Deal

After Alec Baldwin’s Charges are Downgraded in the Rust Shooting Case, Legal Experts Predict the Actor Would Plead Not Guilty and Face a Trial, Instead of Taking a Plea Deal

Alec Baldwin managed to chop off potential five years from his sentence and is now waiting for the disqualification of the special prosecutor designated to the Rust shooting case, where the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, was fatally shot. This is after the actor was charged less than a month ago.

Alec Baldwin Rust
Alec Baldwin

While the odds are in Baldwin’s favor at the moment, experts believe the accused will take the case to a jury instead of taking a plea deal. He and the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed received two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

RELATED: “Wasn’t he in charge?”: Fans See RED as Alec Baldwin Sues Rust Crew Members for Handing Him a Loaded Gun

Law Experts Believe Rust Actor Alec Baldwin Will Not Plead Guilty

As relayed to The Hollywood Reporter, district attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies filed an amended complaint downgrading the involuntary manslaughter charges on Monday against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed. Now, the actor will face 18 months of jail time if convicted.

Spokesperson for the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Heather Brewer explained:

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. The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.”

Meanwhile, former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico John Anderson believes that the prosecutors’ move will most likely bring Baldwin to waive a plea agreement:

Downgrading charges and decreasing exposure to incarceration increases the likelihood that defendants stick to their guns and go to trial.”

Alec Baldwin Rust set
Alec Baldwin on the set of Rust

The gun enhancement statute at the time of the incident will only be applicable if the firearm was “brandished” or the weapon was purposely brought out and aimed to injure a person. The decree was amended in May after the shooting. New Mexico lawyers have also increased prison time from 3 to 5 years.

Baldwin’s lawyers claimed that it is prohibited to charge a client with a statute that “increases punishment for existing offenses” to make them plead guilty. James Brosnahan noted:

What happens is that the defense has to tell their client that they can get hit for this — that instead of doing three years, they might do eight if they don’t plead guilty.”

The possibility of Alec Baldwin accepting a deal lies on his part if he wants to admit that he has, to some degree, a responsibility over the death of Hutchins. At this point, the actor seems pretty confident to face a trial before the jury.

RELATED: “Why… in the world… are they finishing this movie?”: Fans OUTRAGED as Alec Baldwin Settles With Slain Woman’s Family, “Rust” Resumes Filming

Can Alec Baldwin Still Save His Reputation Amid Shooting Incident?

Halyna Hutchins Rust Alec Baldwin
Halyna Hutchins, cinematographer

Alec Baldwin’s career has been severely tarnished by the Rust shooting incident. Eric Schiffer, chairman of crisis PR firm Reputation Management Consultants commented:

Alec’s career has been damaged by defending himself in a highly irregular manner that was, at times, highly deluded and out of the Donald Trump school of public relations.”

Schiffer also noted that if the actor is proven innocent, this will help him get back on his feet amid the raging tabloid headlines that destroy Baldwin’s name in the public eye. While the Rust actor admits not pulling the trigger, the FBI clarifies that a gun will not fire without doing so.

Joshua Ritter, a former L.A. prosecutor, believes Baldwin is facing prison time sooner or later. “He was the one holding the gun in his hand,” Ritter noted and remarked that he would not want to put his life at the hands of 12 jurors.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Written by Ariane Cruz

Content writer at FandomWire.