Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, called the decision to file charges “a terrible miscarriage of justice” and a distortion of a tragedy.
The actor “relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds,” Nikas said in a statement to NPR. “We will fight these charges, and we will win.”
In October 2021, Baldwin was holding a Colt .45-caliber pistol that fired a live round, killing Hutchins. At the time, they were rehearsing a scene for the Western film.
Baldwin has maintained that Hutchins died in a tragic accident, saying he didn’t intentionally fire the weapon and had no idea that it held live ammunition when the film crew gathered to rehearse a scene for the film.
What are the charges against Baldwin?
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are each being charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, meaning they’re “charged in the alternative.” Prosecutors say they want a jury to decide not only if the pair are guilty, but which type of involuntary manslaughter should apply to the events around Hutchins’ death.
At the base level, both of the charges are fourth-degree felonies, punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. But if Baldwin and/or Gutierrez-Reed are found guilty of the most serious charges that carry a firearm enhancement, they stand to face five years in prison.
Under the basic involuntary manslaughter charge, prosecutors would need to show that underlying negligence played a role in the shooting death. That charge would also “likely” merge with a misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a firearm, prosecutors said.