Legal experts are speculating that “rageaholic” Alec Baldwin deliberately fired his gun in anger, citing several previous incidents in which the actor had been provoked into a rage. It is assumed that the ill-tempered actor did not realize the gun was loaded when he shot director of photography Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie, “Rust,” but he could be charged with criminally negligent homicide, or even murder if it’s proven that he angrily pulled the trigger of the gun while aiming it at Hutchins.
Breitbart reported that as recently as Monday night, Baldwin angrily charged a New York Post reporter while wielding an umbrella after the reporter had asked him some questions.
The encounter allegedly occurred in New York’s Upper East Side when a New York Post reporter approached Baldwin as he entered a private residence.
“Wait, Mr. Baldwin, I have to ask you, what brings you to New York City,” Levine asked Baldwin as his wife, Hilaria, pleaded with him to go away. “Mr. Baldwin why…. who’s here?”
Baldwin then turned around and charged Levine while wielding an umbrella. Hilaria held him back.
In a recent video, Canadian lawyer Viva Frei cited several other instances in which the notoriously ill-tempered actor had flown into a rage, including the infamous 2007 phone call with his 11-year-old daughter in which he called her a pig. He also cited two other angry street altercations with reporters.
In November of 2013, TMZ reported that Baldwin got into three angry confrontations in one day. In the third incident, he was filmed “screaming at a female reporter, demanding cops arrest her … and then hitting a parked car while trying to drive away.”
Frei suggests that Baldwin did not appreciate being ordered around by a young, female cinematographer, rather than a male director, explaining that directors are usually the ones who give the orders to actors.
This logic makes sense, Ace of Spades argued on Tuesday:
Baldwin was, as usual, in a mad rage over nothing, and forgot himself, and forgot all of his gun safety training, and angrily pointed the gun at the cinematographer and angrily pulled the trigger.
This accords with the first reports from the set which said that Baldwin did exactly that: That he said, angrily, “You want it like that?!” as he pulled the trigger.
Note this wouldn’t make it murder, as he wouldn’t have intended to shoot and kill the woman, as he wouldn’t have known the gun was loaded with a bullet.
It would start to put him on the hook for something like criminally negligent homicide.
Carrying Frei’s argument further, lawyer Andrew Branca speculated that if Baldwin had indeed angrily pulled the trigger of a gun while aiming it at another human being, he could be charged with felony murder.
Under New Mexico law, an unlawful intentional touching or application of force done in an angry manner qualifies as a simple battery (s. 30-3-4. Battery). Of course, we’re presuming that Baldwin never intended to actually apply force to Hutchins.
Nevertheless, merely putting someone in fear of an imminent battery is itself a crime. Under New Mexico law, menacing conduct which causes another person to reasonably believe that he is in danger of receiving an immediate battery qualifies as misdemeanor simple assault (. 30-3-1. Assault).
Further, a gun, a deadly weapon, was used here, and unlawfully assaulting someone with a deadly weapon meaning putting them in fear of imminent harm from the gun, escalates the criminal offense to felony aggravated assault (s. 30-3-2. Aggravated assault).
And, finally, under New Mexico law the killing of one human being by another without lawful justification in the commission of any felony qualifies as felony murder, a murder in the first degree (s. 30-2-1 Murder).
As Ace of Spades notes, a felony murder charge may be a bit of a stretch, but criminally negligent homicide is definitely within the realm of possibility.