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A legal analysis of actor Alec Baldwin criminal charges

Local defense attorney Barry Covert talked about actor Alec Baldwin's criminally negligent homicide charges, which were announced Thursday.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Criminal charges were announced Thursday in the deadly shooting on the set of the movie "Rust" in New Mexico, including charges against actor Alec Baldwin.

Baldwin and the film's armorer will both be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, at a location on the outskirts of Santa Fe in 2021.

Hutchins was shot and killed by a bullet fired from a prop gun being handled by Baldwin on the set.

RELATED ARTICLE: Alec Baldwin to be charged with manslaughter in movie set shooting

An attorney for Baldwin says he had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun, and he will be fighting the charges in court. Channel 2's Scott Levin spoke with local defense attorney Barry Covert about the case, and about whether charges had to be brought in this case.

"It does make sense that some charges had to be brought. He was the person who possessed the gun, it did go off, he claims he didn't pull the trigger, it was pointed at an individual, and all gun owners know to never point a gun at an individual," Covert said.

"You have the ultimate responsibility. His defense is he was handed a weapon, a cold weapon. Question for the jury is that enough? Or did he have an obligation to check the weapon himself?"

Involuntary homicide is very similar to texting while driving and causing a subsequent death, and as in the Baldwin case, the New Mexico standard is much lower than in New York.

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