Alec Baldwin to be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter

Originally published at: Alec Baldwin to be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter | Boing Boing


I’m confused…if only one person died, how can both be charged with two counts of manslaughter each?


Two different definitions of manslaughter apparently may apply, the jury will pick which if either.


I wish he’d just plead guilt and let Halyna Hutchins’ family get some closure. But you’re probably right that we’re in for a circus… and the right wing media will really have a field day with it, given how much they hate him for his years doing Trump at SNL…


The first charge can be referred to simply as involuntary manslaughter. For this charge to be proved there must be underlying negligence. Under New Mexico law, involuntary manslaughter is a fourth-degree felony and is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. This charge also includes the misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a firearm, which would likely merge as a matter of law.

The other charge is involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act. This charge requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in a death. This is also a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and up to a $5000 fine. This charge includes a firearm enhancement, or added mandatory penalty, because a firearm was involved. The firearm enhancement makes the crime punishable by a mandatory five years in jail.

New Mexico’s laws on manslaugther


Does manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter mean it happened out of negligence? If so, I think both Guttierez Reed and Baldwin are guilty of that. Guttierez Reed for failing to properly secure and load the props properly, and Baldwin as both Executive Producer for allowing a sloppy, unsafe set, as well as his mishandling of the props.

Despite his insistence he didn’t pull the trigger, the FBI didn’t find anything mechanically wrong with the firearm, which means he mishandled it on set.

So yes, they should both plead guilty. I dunno about how much time served is “justice”. The fine seems damn low. What about damages to the family?


IIRC there was already a settlement with the family. Terms undisclosed, naturally.


Where’s that Rittenhouse judge?


Does he even get out of bed in the morning for merely negligent discharge?


Baldwin is a producer of that show so I get that. But I am having a hard time with the charges against the armourer. IIRC she was pretty new to the role even though she learned from her dad? I could be wrong but it has been my experience that younger crew are more easily bullied by production to cut corners which is when mistakes are made. Someone died as a result and I am not really trying to use the I was following orders defence. But I would be going after the line producers and the ADs first.

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She was ultimately responsible for ensuring that the weapon was safe and cleared to be used. If she was not able to do her job and keep cast and crew safe, she should NOT have been doing that job.

Which is part of the reason why Baldwin is also being held responsible (not just because he pulled the trigger), as he’s the producer of the film and could ensure that everyone felt comfortable doing their job properly. Given that such things that the armorer does was literally life and death, she is responsible, even if others are also responsible for what’s happening on set.


“Cut the kid a break, she’s new here” isn’t really a valid excuse given that she willfully and knowingly assumed responsibility for gun safety on set.

We aren’t talking about some hapless gofer who got Mr. Baldwin’s coffee order wrong here. She brought live ammunition to a movie shoot where it was loaded into one of the guns she provided and ultimately used to kill a human being. If that’s not the armourer’s responsibility then whose responsibility is it?


If Baldwin is not being charged solely because he (accidentally or otherwise) fired the gun, but because he is producer, then why is he the only producer being charged? Presumably there are/were more than one.


Kenan Thompson Reaction GIF by Saturday Night Live

I suspect that what is going to happen is that she’s going to plead guilty, and Baldwin is going to fight it all the way… because he seems like a real self-involved asshole, honestly.

I’d guess because it seems like he was the primary person to get this project off the ground and he co-wrote… the wikipedia article said that he called it a “passion project”… So, it was largely his baby, and so he probably was far more hands on, as a producer, since he co-wrote and was starring in the film.


For negligent discharge BY A KNOWN LIBERAL he prolly would.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s probably right that there’s an investigation and even trial for negligent discharge for this tragic incident. But the difference in scale, seriousness, and consequences of this when compared to Rittenhouse’s acquittal are staggering.


Not disagreeing with you. And you are right but I am just trying to resolve this with what I remember when the incident happened. I do seem to recall here being presented as somewhat of a victim here. But again I am probably wrong.

Baldwin presenting as a victim, you mean? I think he tried to push that, and clearly he did not intend to shoot Hutchins and the director, but because this was largely his project, and the accident was a result of sloppy work by a crew member (which presumably, he would have had a hand in hiring), he’s ultimately responsible. The law seems to agree with that.


This will be a slam dunk acquittal. The charge is wildly off the wall.

This is prosecutors trying to make a name for themselves going against someone who can afford very competent criminal defense counsel.

At no point can they produce evidence that an actor on set in front of a camera has any responsibility to ensure the safety of a prop gun. Which means they can’t show intent for manslaughter (knowledge the act could be potentially deadly).

Shenanigans as a producer can bring civil liability but it isn’t manslaughter.

Not in this case. Not for criminal liability beyond a reasonable doubt. It is evidence of negligence, but not homicide.

It was a real gun. With real ammo. That Baldwin knew was loaded with real ammo because they went out “plinking” multiple times. There are likely text messages and witnesses to a lot of things. You don’t need intent for involuntary manslaughter. He knew it could have contained live ammo because it had previously contained live ammo and he shot it when it did. They’ve already got a cooperating witness. The gun doesn’t just “randomly fire”, he had to have pulled the trigger. The way he described the act just isn’t possible.

He’s going to likely plead down to 1/2 a year to a year of probation, pay a fine, do a couple hundred hours of community service, and take a misdemeanor charge.