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Alec Baldwin is a bully. He’s demonstrated that in public and in private, on multiple occasions. There seems to be an abundance of events where Baldwin believes he is the lord of the manor and the rest of humanity merely lives in his fiefdom.
In 1995, Baldwin clocked a photographer when the photographer was clicking photos of his then-wife (Kim Bassinger) and newborn daughter. Baldwin was acquitted of the battery charge, even though the photographer had his nose broken.
Seven years later, he called the same daughter he was “protecting” in 1995 a “rude, thoughtless little pig”. The daughter named Ireland had a hard time handling her parents’ very public breakup. Kim Bassinger said of Baldwin’s emotional instability:
“I don’t think Alec was emotionally or mentally available for that kind of talk. Alec operates in a very different way in his life.”
Baldwin was removed from an American Airline flight, because he wouldn’t stop playing a game on his phone and because he was a jerk about it. He called the flight attendants nasty epithets and then tweeted that the attendants on his next flight “already look smarter.”
In 2014, Baldwin was stopped for riding his bike on the wrong side of a one-way street. He was arrested, not for riding his bike like he owned New York, but for disorderly conduct when he started acting like a jerk — in other words, like Alec Baldwin.
He got into an argument with a man over a parking spot in front of his New York home. It turned violent. The bully Baldwin immediately sued the other guy because the other said Baldwin punched him. What seems very plausible is that Baldwin filed a preemptive suit to shut the other guy up.
In short, Baldwin has been a bully for most, if not all, of his public life; with a lot of fame and money, people like Baldwin fall into a habit of thinking they are never wrong. And I mean, they are never, ever, able to admit that they are wrong. It’s a character flaw, and I think Baldwin has it in abundance.
Baldwin has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for the death of the “Rust” cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins.
The New Mexico penal code NM Stat § 30-2-3 (2019
Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice.
- Voluntary manslaughter consists of manslaughter committed upon a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion.
Whoever commits voluntary manslaughter is guilty of a third-degree felony resulting in the death of a human being.
- Involuntary manslaughter consists of manslaughter committed in the commission of an unlawful act not amounting to a felony, or in the commission of a lawful act that might produce death in an unlawful manner or without due caution and circumspection. (emphasis mine)
The negligent use of a firearm can be simply “ordinary”:
A conviction of involuntary manslaughter by negligent use of a weapon requires negligence which is ordinary. State v. Grubbs, 1973-NMCA-096, 85 N.M. 365, 512 P.2d 693, overruled on other grounds, Santillanes v. State, 1993-NMSC-012, 115 N.M. 215, 849 P.2d 358; State v. Yarborough, 1995-NMCA-116, 120 N.M. 669, 905 P.2d 209.
The prosecutor can get a conviction against Baldwin, if he or she proves that Baldwin’s handling of that weapon was below the “ordinary” standard of care for actors of his level of experience. If by not checking the weapon (notwithstanding it being called a “cold” weapon) Baldwin was criminally negligent, he’s cooked. By not taking 10 seconds to check the weapon himself, I think a jury could convict if they reason that Baldwin lacked just ordinary “due caution and circumspection.” The prosecution also would need to prove that an ordinary standard of the industry, for a producer and actor with 30 years of experience, would be to do a personal check of the firearm before leveling it at a human being.
Further, Baldwin has claimed that he never pulled the trigger. The forensic tests conducted by the FBI on the single-action handgun indicate that the weapon will not fire unless the hammer is pulled back and the trigger is pulled. Unless the defense can make the weapon fire with a partial pull on the hammer, Baldwin’s credibility will be ruined.
My colleague Nick Arama has written on Baldwin’s factual problems (besides the bullet that killed Halyna Hutchins), like live rounds were found on the set (on the armory table and in a belt) and the fact that, as the producer, Baldwin ran a very sloppy and loose set. The prosecutor’s office seems well prepared to rip apart Baldwin’s arguments.
If Baldwin takes the stand, I think he’ll need an Oscar-winning performance to be acquitted. His past acts of being a bully and jerk won’t be allowed/admitted, but his insistence that he is blameless won’t play well to a jury. I also think he lacks the ability to control his inner rage. And, his inability to admit a mistake will cast him in a very bad light. Baldwin has already admitted that he didn’t check the weapon. He was the last person to hold the weapon before it discharged. Excluding jury members enamored with Baldwin’s stardom, and if the prosecution can rely on the FBI forensics that a partial hammer pull isn’t sufficient to fire the charge and the weapon cannot be fired without a trigger pull, Baldwin will be convicted.
In the end, I think Alec Baldwin’s undoing will be the bully Alec Baldwin.