A prominent criminal defense attorney warned Friday that actor Alec Baldwin faces more than six years in prison if found guilty of all charges.
Baldwin is facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed on the set of Rust in October 2021. Baldwin was also charged with a firearm improvement charge that would sentence Baldwin to a minimum sentence of five years if convicted in prison.
“If you believe the prosecutors, they believe he faces up to six and a half years. The year and a half plus the five years for the gun,” attorney Mark Geragos told America’s Newsroom.
Baldwin has remained steadfast in his claims that he did not pull the gun’s trigger – once during a prime-time interview shortly after the fatal shooting and again on a podcast episode.
The actor originally said he pulled the gun’s hammer back as far as he could and let go, but didn’t pull the trigger.
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“He’ll basically say, ‘I counted on them screaming, it was cold,’ meaning there wasn’t a bullet in the gun,” Geragos said.
Both the first charge of involuntary manslaughter, a fourth-degree felony, and the second charge of involuntary manslaughter committing a lawful act could land the actor up to 18 months in prison if convicted.
“The problem [Baldwin] Faces on this one is negligent manslaughter, which requires no intent on his part. He doesn’t have to have the state of mind that he wanted to do that. It’s negligence,” explained Geragos.
“And in New Mexico it’s really almost common negligence to just commit a lawful act unlawfully. That is the legal term for it.”
However, Baldwin wasn’t the only “Rust” member to be indicted Thursday. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, gunsmith in the film Rust, was also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.
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After the charges were announced Thursday, Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, said in a statement to Fox News Digital that the charges were a “horrible miscarriage of justice.”
“This decision distorts the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins and constitutes a terrible miscarriage of justice,” said Quinn Emanuel’s Luke Nikas. “Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the film set. He relied on the professionals he worked with to assure him the gun had no live cartridges. We’re going to fight fees and we’re going to win.”
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Geragos also noted that an “interesting” component of the case is that Baldwin had two roles in the production – actor and producer.
“[The prosecution] come at him under both theories. They say the actor who pulled the trigger, though he denies pulling the trigger, is also the producer who cut corners, trying to save money at the expense of safety. So they kind of locked him up, if you will.”
Geragos said Baldwin’s attorneys would almost certainly be looking for a plea deal.
“Any good defender, and he has a very good defender, will always explore the idea of a plea deal. It’s almost a malpractice not to do it. No matter what your client tells you, you must give them their options,” he said.
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“If he is convicted of mandatory use in this one case, he faces five years in prison. So they’re definitely going to explore some sort of deal,” he told Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer.
Fox News’ Lauryn Overhultz contributed to this report.