A noted criminal defense attorney warned on Friday that actor Alec Baldwin could face up to 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 has also been charged with increased possession of a firearm, which would sentence Baldwin to a minimum of five years in prison if convicted.
“If you believe the prosecutors, they think he could get up to six and a half years. One and a half years, 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 trigger on the gun – once during a primetime interview shortly after the deadly shooting and again on a podcast episode.
The actor originally said he pulled the hammer on the gun as hard as he could and let go, but he didn’t pull the trigger.
ALEC BALDWIN IS STRIPPED WITH INVOLUNTARY MURDER IN THE DEATH OF HALYNA HUTCHINS, FACING UP TO 18 MONTHS IN PRISON
“He’ll basically say, ‘I trusted them screaming, it was cold,’ meaning there was no bullet in the gun,” Geragos said.
Both the first count of involuntary manslaughter, a fourth-degree felony, and the second count of involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act could carry the actor up to 18 months in prison if convicted.
“The problem [Baldwin] faces this is that involuntary manslaughter does not require him to have intent. He doesn’t need to be in the state of mind that he wanted to do this. It’s negligence,” explained Geragos.
“And in New Mexico, it’s really almost common negligence, just doing a legal act illegally. That’s the legal term for it.”
Baldwin, however, was not the only ‘Rust’ member accused on Thursday. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was the gunsmith in the movie “Rust,” was also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.
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After the charges were announced on Thursday, Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas said the charges were a “terrible miscarriage of justice” in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“This decision distorts the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice,” said Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel. “Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe that there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the film set. He trusted the professionals he worked with, who assured him that the gun had no real bullets in it. We will fight this accusations, and we will 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] are coming at him under both theories. They’re saying like the actor who pulled the trigger, even though he denies pulling the trigger, and it’s also the producer who was cutting corners, trying to save money at the expense of safety. So they sort of boxed it in, if you will.”
Geragos said Baldwin’s lawyers will almost certainly seek a plea deal.
“Any good defense attorney, and he has a very good defense attorney, will always explore the idea of a settlement. It’s almost malpractice not to. No matter what your client is telling you, you have to give him your options,” he said.
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“If he’s convicted on that charge with mandatory use, he faces five years in prison. So they’re going to explore some sort of settlement,” he told Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer.
Lauryn Overhultz of Fox News contributed to this report.