HOLLYWOOD HILLS—Actor Alec Baldwin, 64, could face up to five years in prison for the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, on the set of a Western movie “Rust” authorities announced on Thursday, January 19. 

Baldwin and the movie’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, will each be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. One of the involuntary manslaughter counts is one in which prosecutors will have to prove there is underlying negligence. This is a fourth-degree felony that carries a sentence of up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. 

The second involuntary manslaughter charge is one for the commission of a lawful act, a more severe charge which requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in a death. This charge includes a firearm enhancement, which adds a mandatory penalty of five years in jail.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be charged under a standard called “charged in the alternative.” If the case goes to trial, a jury will determine which of the two charges they’re guilty of.

“Rust” assistant director David Halls signed a plea deal for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, resulting in a suspended sentence and six months of probation.

Back in December 2021, in an interview with ABC, Baldwin claimed he did not pull the trigger and did not know there was a live bullet in the gun. New forensic analysis reveals that the gun could not have gone off without the trigger being pulled.

The shooting transpired back in October 2021 in New Mexico. It also injured Joel Souza, the film’s director. The crew was shooting a scene where Baldwin was using a gun that was filled with live bullet rounds instead of dummies, which is against Hollywood film standards. According to court documents, an assistant director handed a loaded weapon to Baldwin and indicated to him it was safe to use. A search warrant filed in a Santa Fe court shows that the assistant director did not know the prop gun was loaded with live rounds. 

The day after Hutchins died Baldwin wrote on Twitter:

“There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours.”

Hutchins was a cinematographer that worked on more than 30 feature-length films, short films, and TV miniseries, including the films “Archenemy,” “Darlin'” and “Blindfire.” She was laid to rest at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.