Alec Baldwin could face up to 5 years in jail if convicted in 'Rust' shooting. Here's a breakdown of the charges against the actor.

Alec Baldwin on the set of "Rust" after the October 21, 2021 fatal shooting.
Alec Baldwin on the set of "Rust" after the October 21, 2021 fatal shooting.Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office
  • Alec Baldwin was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection to the 'Rust' shooting.

  • Baldwin can only be convicted on one of the two counts.

  • The more serious charge carries a sentence of up to 5 years in jail.

Alec Baldwin could spent up to five  years in jail if he's convicted in connection to the accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film "Rust" in October 2021.

New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies charged Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the set's armorer in charge of weapons, with involuntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act on Tuesday.

The pair are being "charged in the alternative," which means that if their cases go to trial, they can only be convicted on one of the two charges — which have different definitions. Both charges carry a punishment of up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

To convict on involuntary manslaughter, prosecutors must prove to the jury that Hutchins' death was the result of underlying negligence.

The latter charge — involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act — requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in the death. The charge includes a firearm enhancement, with an added mandatory penalty of five years in jail.

When prosecutors first announced that criminal charges were expected earlier this month, Insider spoke to legal experts who said that the early announcement might be a tactic by prosecutors to get Baldwin to take a plea deal.

Prosecutors have already cut a plea deal with the film's assistant director, Dave Halls, who agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon in exchange for just six months probation.

halyna hutchins
Halyna Hutchins attends the SAGindie Sundance Filmmakers Reception at Cafe Terigo on January 28, 2019 in Park City, Utah.Fred Hayes/Getty Images

Baldwin was practicing a scene on the set of "Rust" when the weapon he was holding fired and fatally struck the film's cinematographer, Hutchins, and injured the film's director, Joel Souza.

According to affidavits that were included in search warrant documents, the prop gun was one of three "set up" by the film's armorer, Gutierrez-Reed, and left on a cart. The firearm was then picked up by Halls, who took it to Baldwin for a scene inside a church building on the set, according to the police documents. As Halls handed the gun to Baldwin, he said "cold gun," indicating that the gun did not contain any live rounds, according to the documents. The gun was then fired by Baldwin.

Investigators have still not revealed how a live round ended up in the gun.

Baldwin told ABC News two months after the shooting that he never pulled the trigger, but an FBI report countered that, saying "the revolver could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger."

Baldwin's attorney, Luke Nikas, told Insider earlier this month that prosecutors' decision to bring charges against the actor "distorts Halyna Hutchins' tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice."

"Hannah is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident. But she did not commit involuntary manslaughter," lawyer Jason Bowles said in a statement, adding, "We intend to bring the full truth to light and believe Hannah will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury."

Read the original article on Insider