Formal charges were recently brought against Trump-hating actor Alec Baldwin for the fatal shooting on the set of “Rust,” in which he accidentally fired a pistol and killed the cinematographer, Kayla Hutchins. He has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Not only that, but he also faces a new lawsuit from the victim’s family.
So, what options does Alec Baldwin have? Fox News Digital spoke to several legal experts on the topic, experts who gave varying opinions on what Baldwin could expect. One of them was attorney Kate Mangels of the Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump Holley law firm. She told Fox News Digital that there would be an incentive for him to take a plea deal here, saying:
“A pro of anyone taking a plea deal is that it can expedite the process and avoids having to go through a trial. If a defendant is worried about information that may come out publicly at trial and the effect of that information on them beyond the trial, taking a deal could reduce the publicity of those negative facts. Here, it appears that all of the facts have already been publicized. So, I don’t see that as being a motivation in this case. But that can be a motivation for defendants to take a plea.”
And such a plea deal could be offered according to former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani, who told Fox News Digital that Baldwin probably wouldn’t get a slap on the wrist type deal like the assistant director got, saying “I don’t expect [the DA] to offer that type of deal [to Baldwin]. I would be very, very surprised because I think the bottom line is it would be a pretty significant defeat for her. If it were offered, I think Baldwin’s lawyers would advise him to take it. It’s literally a slap on the wrist. It’s nothing.”
Rahmani added that Baldwin probably wouldn’t take any plea deal involving jail time, saying “I just don’t see him doing it – taking a deal with any jail time – given who he is, and he cares about his reputation, his career. He’s got young kids.”
However, perhaps he should, as Rahmani also told Fox News Digital that there are always risks in a trial because a jury could do anything, saying “This is a pretty good defense case as far as defense cases goes, and jurors, they love celebrities. Celebrities tend to do well in these types of trials. But there’s always a risk. You never know what 12 strangers who can’t get out of jury duty will do. We’ve seen it before. You think cases are going to go one way, but then you get O.J. [Simpson], Casey Anthony. So, jury trials are unpredictable.”
Another expert also noted the risks inherent in trials, telling Fox News Digital that “A trial can look very different for a defendant, whether or not they decide to testify or not. If he does decide to testify, that opens him up to cross-examination by the prosecution, which could open up other areas of inquiry. The prosecution could potentially touch on areas that, while not relevant to the trial, could have a negative impact on his popularity or the way the public views him. There’s a big risk always of a defendant taking a stab at taking the stand and testifying in a criminal trial.”
That same expert, explaining Baldwin’s potential legal strategy, said “It seems like they’re potentially teeing up an argument for some sort of improper motivation for prosecution. So, they could be teeing up a motion having to do with trying to dismiss for prosecutorial misconduct prior to trial or something like that. I’m sure that there are a lot of options that they’re looking at to avoid having to make the decision of whether to plea or go to trial.”
So what are Baldwin’s options? Take a deal that will probably involve some sort of jail time or risk a highly embarrassing, highly publicized trial. Not exactly a great set of options.
When the DA announced the charges against Baldwin, her office said:
By: Will Tanner. Follow me on Twitter @Will_Tanner_1
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