Alec Baldwin was charged on Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting of Halyna Hutchins, a cinematographer on the set of “Rust.”
The actor, 64, and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the movie’s armorer, were both formally charged with two felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, reports the New York Post.
Involuntary manslaughter refers to unintentional homicide.
They were both charged in “the alternative,” which means a jury can convict them of only one of the charges they face. The first count has a maximum of 18 months in prison and the second count comes with a maximum of five years behind bars.
Hutchins was shot on the set of “Rust” when a prop gun had a live round inside. Hutchins died of her injuries shortly after, according to KOAT, an ABC affiliate.
The “30 Rock” actor claims he did not know there was a live round in the gun and did not intentionally fire it, per the Deseret News.
“Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set,” Luke Nikas, Baldwin’s lawyer, said in a statement on Thursday, per The New York Times. “He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”
Gutierrez-Reed, the rookie armorer on the set of “Rust,” has also maintained her innocence.
Her attorney, Jason Bowles, said Gutierrez-Reed “is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident. But she did not commit involuntary manslaughter,” per NPR.
Detectives found both dummy and live rounds scattered throughout the Santa Fe set, which is a violation of industry safety standards, reports the New York Post.
Baldwin previously claimed that the gun fired accidentally, but an FBI forensic report reportedly revealed that the trigger had to be pulled for the gun to go off, according to the Post.
“We’re trying to definitely make it clear that everybody’s equal under the law, including A-list actors like Alec Baldwin,” Andrea Reeb, a special prosecutor appointed by Santa Fe County’s district attorney to help handle the case, said in an interview, per The New York Times. “And we also want to make sure that the safety of the film industry is addressed and things like this don’t happen again.”