Legal expert says Alec Baldwin likely won't face murder or manslaughter charges in prop-firearm shooting that left a cinematographer dead

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Legal expert says Alec Baldwin likely won't face murder or manslaughter charges in prop-firearm shooting that left a cinematographer dead
© Halyna Hutchins/Instagram, Jim Spellman/Getty Images Legal experts told Insider that Alec Baldwin likely won’t face charges in a prop-firearm shooting on the set of “Rust.” Halyna Hutchins/Instagram, Jim Spellman/Getty Images

  • Legal experts said Alec Baldwin likely won’t face murder or manslaughter charges for the prop-firearm shooting on the set of “Rust.”
  • Baldwin discharged a prop gun filled with live ammunition on the film set, killing the director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, on Thursday.
  • Experts said they don’t believe Baldwin will face charges if he didn’t know the gun had live ammunition in it.

Legal experts told Insider it’s unlikely that Alec Baldwin will face criminal charges after he discharged a prop-firearm that contained a live round on the set of “Rust,” killing the film’s cinematographer and injuring the director on Thursday.

The film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, died at the University of New Mexico Hospital on Thursday after the on-set incident.

Arthur L. Aidala, a managing partner of New York criminal defense firm Aidala Bertuna & Kamins, said he doesn’t believe Baldwin will face charges if the actor was unaware that the prop gun had live ammunition in it.

“Even though we absolutely know who possessed the weapon, who discharged the weapon, and who caused the death of a human being, it would fall under the excusable homicide statute,” Aidala said.

That’s because New Mexico law has a stipulation called “excusable homicide,” which means that it’s not a crime to kill someone “by accident or misfortune, in doing any lawful act, by lawful means, with usual and ordinary caution and without any unlawful intent.”

Manslaughter charges are also out of the question for Baldwin, Ralph Cilento, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice told Insider, because police would again have to prove that Baldwin intended to cause someone harm when he discharged the gun and that his intent to cause harm led to someone’s death.

“The bottom culpable mental state of manslaughter is to intend physical harm, but accidentally cause death, and in this case, Alec Baldwin did not even intend to physical harm,” Cilento said.

Aidala said “the absolute worst-case scenario for Mr. Baldwin is that a witness comes forth and says, ‘Yeah, we told him it was loaded with live ammunition because in that particular scene we needed to shoot a hole in the wall, so it was a real bullet.'”

While Aidala said he “doesn’t see that happening,” he said in that case, Baldwin could face charges of “depraved indifference homicide” which is “not intending to kill anybody, but committing an act that any reasonable person would know would cause death of another.”

Read the original article on Insider

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