Daniel Baldwin finally set foot in court. And to mark the momentous occasion, a judge scotched an arrest warrant for the legally challenged actor.
The former Homicide star was on the business end of a $25,000 arrest warrant after skipping two previously scheduled hearings. But Alec's younger bro turned up in a Newport Beach Criminal Court Tuesday, accompanied by his attorney and the supposed victim of the alleged crime, and was arraigned on charges of stealing an SUV.
Baldwin, 46, pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of receiving stolen property and unlawfully taking a vehicle.
The purportedly stolen auto belongs to Kenneth Smith, a buddy of the actor, who, despite reporting the missing SUV to police, prompting Baldwin's arrest, has since come to Baldwin's defense. Smith was in court Tuesday, where he had hoped to convince the judge and prosecutors that the whole thing was a "mistake" and that had had given Baldwin carte blanche to use Smith's 2003 GMC Yukon.
To underscore the point, Baldwin arrived and departed the courthouse in said vehicle.
But the Orange County District Attorney's Office declined to drop the charges and Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter Polos set a pretrial status hearing for May 1.
"As is the situation with all cases, we will review all of the evidence, including facts that the defense provides us, and we will make a determination about that case," said D.A. spokeswoman Farrah Emami.
The one bit of good news for Baldwin was Polos' decision to drop the warrant he issued Feb. 13 after the actor was a no-show for arraignment.
As it turned out, Baldwin failed to let authorities know that he was in Detroit filming the title demon in the indie horror flick Little Red Devil.
Baldwin was arrested on Nov. 7 outside a Santa Monica motel after Smith's family reported the Yukon stolen and police tracked a signal from the vehicle's security system. Officers collared Baldwin as he was climbing in the vehicle.
He was eventually charged with the two felony counts and released after posting a $20,000 bond. (Although reportedly found narcotics and drug paraphernalia in his hotel room, the D.A. declined to file drug-related charges).
The stolen car charges were the latest in a run of bad luck for Baldwin.
In April, at another Santa Monica motel, he was arrested after allegedly threatening a woman. Police responding to the women's 911 allegedly found Baldwin smoking cocaine.
Baldwin was allowed to enter a drug-diversion program to avoid jail time on misdemeanor drug charges. His attorney, Grant Hoagland, said the actor was treated at a Malibu rehab center and will be 90 days clean this week.
Baldwin was also cited in July for smashing a rental car into some parked vehicles. No charges were filed in that case.