A little more than a week after he was indicted by a New Mexico grand jury for involuntary manslaughter, Alec Baldwin maintains his innocence by pleading not guilty to the charge.
The new charge came nearly two and a half years after Baldwin accidentally shot and killed Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer, on the Rust set in New Mexico.
According to Variety, the actor is facing up to 18 months in prison if convicted of negligently shooting Hutchins. The charge also comes one year after prosecutors initially filed charges against him. Those charges were later dropped.
Alec Baldwin is scheduled to appear for a video arraignment through Google Meet on Thursday, Feb. 1. However, he has opted instead to waive the appearance.
Meanwhile, Baldwin is free without bail. However, under the release terms, he is to not have any firearms or drink alcohol. Although he is not allowed to speak to witnesses involved in the case, he is allowed to have business discussions about the film’s upcoming release.
The release terms also forbid the actor from soliciting witnesses to participate in the film’s behind-the-scene documentary as well.
Alec Baldwin Maintains That He Did Not Pull the Trigger
Variety also reports that along with pleading not guilty, Alec Baldwin maintains he did not pull the trigger. He further pointed out he has been trained to not point a gun at someone and fire.
During the time of the accident, Baldwin was preparing for a scene on the Rust set when his gun, a Colt .45, went off. Hutchins died after being hit with the bullet. the film’s director, Joe Souza, was also injured during the accident. Rust armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is going to trial next month for charges of involuntary manslaughter as well as tampering with evidence.
Although Baldwin maintains his innocence, there have been some new developments in the case. Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis, the special prosecutors in the case, hired forensic experts to examine the weapon. They concluded last summer that the gun’s trigger had to have been pulled to fire.
Alec Baldwin’s attorneys are planning to challenge the conclusion. They noted the gun was broken during earlier test firings at an FBI lab.
Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, previously pointed out that he had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun. “He relied on the professionals with whom he worked,” Nikas said. “Who assured him the gun did not have live rounds.”
Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys have also said she didn’t commit involuntary manslaughter. They further declared that the shooting was a “tragic accident.”