US actor Alec Baldwin, 65, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter. The responsible court in the US state of New Mexico announced this on Wednesday (local time). After the death of a camerawoman in a shooting incident on the set of the western “Rust” in October 2021, Baldwin was indicted by a grand jury in mid-January.

The actor decided not to appear before the judge in a planned video link. Instead, he responded to the allegations in a written statement. According to the court, Baldwin must adhere to several conditions. For example, he is prohibited from owning weapons and consuming alcohol or drugs. He is also not allowed to leave the USA without the permission of the court. A date for the start of the trial has not yet been set. If convicted, the Hollywood star could face up to 18 months in prison, US media reported.

Charges were filed against Baldwin in January 2023, but were dropped three months later. The public prosecutor said at the time that further investigations and forensic analyzes were required. The actor also pleaded “not guilty” back then. Baldwin, who starred and produced the film, was using a gun while rehearsing a scene when a shot was fired. Camerawoman Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot. It is unclear how the live ammunition ended up on set.

The special prosecutors presented the case to a grand jury last year to initiate a new criminal case against Baldwin. In the United States, a grand jury investigates crimes after the prosecution presents evidence and decides whether charges should be filed. The panel in January ruled in favor of two possible charges of involuntary manslaughter: either negligent use of a firearm or committing an act resulting in death with total disregard or indifference to the safety of other people.

Baldwin claimed in interviews that he did not pull the trigger on the gun. The investigators checked, among other things, whether a possible malfunction of the weapon could have triggered it. A report from two firearms experts published in August placed new charges on the actor. According to their investigations, the trigger must have been pulled. Weapons master Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who is responsible for weapons and security on the “Rust” set, also has to go to court. She was charged with involuntary manslaughter in January 2023. The trial against her is scheduled to begin at the end of February.