The District Attorney in Santa Fe County had initially charged Baldwin with the gun enhancement, which would have resulted in a minimum of five years in prison if he was found guilty. Baldwin’s attorney filed a motion accusing the prosecutors of misapplying the law, as the gun enhancement charge only applied if the firearm was “brandished” with intent to harm or intimidate someone, which was not the case with Baldwin. The District Attorney eventually dropped the gun enhancement charge due to this discrepancy.
The dropping of the gun enhancement charge has a significant effect on Baldwin’s potential sentence. If Baldwin is found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, he would face up to 18 months behind bars, but the judge could give him less or even probation. This is a far cry from the five-year minimum sentence that would have been imposed had the gun enhancement charge stuck.
The tragic shooting on October 21, 2021 has had a profound impact on all involved. The death of Halyna Hutchins and injury of Joel Souza are a reminder of the potential consequences of handling firearms without proper precautions. Baldwin’s case is still ongoing, and it remains to be seen what sentence he will receive if found guilty.
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