In a move that will shock no one, Alec Baldwin pled not guilty to involuntary manslaughter on Thursday.
Baldwin officially entering a not guilty plea comes just ahead of his first scheduled court appearance in the case sparked by the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
It also means that Baldwin has waived the right to the scheduled hearing, which has now been canceled.
Baldwin and Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were officially charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter on January 31.
D.A. Mary Carmack-Alwies brought the charges forward in connection with the tragic event that occurred on the set of the movie on October 21, 2021.
“I hereby certify that I have explained to Mr. Baldwin his right to personally appear before the District Cou11 to enter a plea of Not Guilty and to have his rights explained to him by the judge and I am satisfied that Mr. Baldwin understands the waiver of these rights,” Baldwin’s lead lawyer Luke Nikas said in paperwork submitted in court in the Land of Enchantment Thursday, according to Deadline.
It was revealed earlier this week that the firearms enhancement charge had been dropped against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed, taking a five-year prison sentence for the pair off the table.
If convicted, the pair face up to 18 months in prison.
“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.
“The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.”
Baldwin’s defense team filmed a motion on February 10 in a New Mexico court, calling the charges against the Award-winning actor an error.
“The prosecutors in this case have committed an unconstitutional and elementary legal error by charging Mr Baldwin under a statute that did not exist on the date of the accident,” the motion 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.”
“Mr Baldwin also respectfully requests that the Court decline to bind over that enhancement.”
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.