Famed self-defense attorney Andrew Branca has written a piece over at Legal Insurrection that analyzes the Alec Baldwin movie-set killing of his Director of Photography and maiming of his Director on the very low-budget Rust film. What’s more, Branca has found legal precedence in the Land of Enchantment that negligently shooting someone is indeed involuntary manslaughter. In short, for the “TL;DR”* crowd: Baldwin better stock up on soap on a rope.
Dismissing the fact that Baldwin is starring and producing a movie that was slated to have a $6 million total budget speaks volumes for his precipitously declining marketability. The Hunt for Red October back in 1990 shot him to fame among the masses and put him on the A-list of Hollywood actors. Later, his 2001 flick Pearl Harbor was the most successful film he starred in, but then again, it was chock full of A-list acting talent to carry him. From there it’s all been downhill for Baldwin. Yeah, he has a shelf full of awards, but how many of those were bestowed for his clown-car political activism and how many were for ability?
And should his actions on the set of Rust result in criminal charges, that might mark the end of Baldwin’s career. Except for prison performances with his future fellow inmates.
Yahoo News reported on an interview Baldwin did promoting his new flick, comparing it to one of Clint Eastwood’s best films, Unforgiven. Yahoo News has that utterly laughable comparison . . .
Baldwin compared “Rust” to “Unforgiven” in an interview, telling The Hollywood Reporter he was ready to saddle up for a Western because his skills including “my horseback riding, my gunplay” were “right at my fingertips at all times.”
Baldwin’s half-assed, bare-bones $6M production is the equivalent to a college level (maybe high school?) film class compared to Clint Eastwood films.
So we have a Hollywood hypocrite who also reportedly serves on the board of a gun control organization. He has spent so much of his adult life campaigning for gun control for the little people bragging about his “gunplay” skills that he says are “right at his fingertips.” Maybe he was too busy working on his social media game to learn the four rules of gun safety. Or maybe there was no gun safety briefings as some of the cast said that safety protocol were “all but ignored.”
Which brings us to Attorney Andrew Branca’s analysis. The famed criminal defense expert certainly makes no secret that if evidence shows what we believe to be true is indeed correct, that it looks like an open and shut felony conviction. Pack your lube and practice singing this tune, Alec:
From Legal Insurrection:
Spoiler: The more we learn about the facts of this case, within the context of New Mexico criminal law, the more this shooting looks increasingly like a crime—specifically, felony involuntary manslaughter. So, today let’s explore that possibility in further detail.
Branca does a deep dive on this, but here’s the money quote from Legal Insurrection:
RELEVANT FACTS ASSUMED TO BE ESTABLISHED
The relevant facts we’re presuming to be established for purposes of this analysis include:
- That it was Alec Baldwin who was manipulating the gun that fired the projectile that killed Ms. Hutchins.
- That the gun discharged because the trigger was depressed by Baldwin (and not because of some defect in the weapon).
- That the muzzle of the weapon was directed towards Ms. Hutchins by Baldwin when it was fired (e.g., she was not killed by an unpredictable ricochet).
- That the gun contained a live round, the bullet of which struck and killed Ms. Hutchins.
That Baldwin had the opportunity to inspect the weapon for live ammo before he directed it at Ms. Hutchins and pressed the trigger, killing her.
- And, of course, that there was no justification for the shooting of Ms. Hutchins (e.g., this was not an act of lawful self-defense—which it clearly was not).
- Separately, we are assuming for purposes of today’s analysis that Baldwin did not intend to injure Ms. Hutchins. If such intent to harm were established, we’d obviously be looking at a much more serious criminal charge than mere involuntary manslaughter.
Assuming, as we are, these facts to be established, it would certainly appear that they are more than sufficient to justify a criminal charge of involuntary manslaughter under New Mexico law and to support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt on that charge.
Again, read the whole thing for the detailed analysis.
Near the end, Branca pulls up legal precedent from New Mexico jurisprudence that supports his analysis. He included an excerpt from that NM Supreme Court case:
It could have made no difference to the trial of a charge of involuntary manslaughter as to who loaded the gun … . All that it is necessary to establish for involuntary manslaughter by the use of a loaded firearm is that a defendant had in his hands a gun which at some time had been loaded and that he handled it … without due caution and circumspection and that death resulted.
Baldwin cancelling his upcoming projects was probably a prudent course of action. He will likely become a frequent visitor to New Mexico dealing with court dates. And after that he may become an involuntary resident for a while.
If that happens, be sure to send him a postcard or two, and maybe even a Christmas Card. Be sure to include pictures of you enjoying America’s right to keep and bear arms. Maybe in a MAGA hat just to rub a little salt in Alec’s nose.