Rust Armorer Found Guilty Of Involuntary Manslaughter

by Tommy Grant

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A jury in New Mexico has found the armorer on the set of Rust guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the incident in which Alec Baldwin shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins with a prop gun in October 2021.

Hanna Gutierrez-Reed, the 25-year-old armorer on the set, was convicted of the charge after the jury deemed her to have been reckless in her duties. She allegedly loaded a functional .45 revolver with dummy rounds and at least one live round, which Baldwin used to shoot and kill Hutchins.

The verdict was reached after just a few hours of deliberation, and Gutierrez-Reed was immediately taken into custody. Afterward her attorney promised an appeal in the case. Gutierrez-Reed was also found not guilty on an evidence tampering charge for allegedly passing off a bag of cocaine the day of the fatal set shooting.

For the conviction, Gutierrez-Reed faces a sentence of up to 18 months in prison, along with a $5,000 fine.

In his closing remarks, special prosecutor Kari Morrissey said Gutierrez-Reed was aware of problems with Baldwin’s prop gun handling but didn’t sufficiently address the issue.

“Hannah Gutierrez knew that Baldwin was loose. She knew it,” Morrissey told the jury. “She didn’t do anything about it, even though it was her job. It was her job. It is her job to say to an A-list actor, if in fact, that’s what you want to call him, ‘Hey, you can’t behave that way with those firearms.’ That is her job. That is what they pay her for. That is the job that she applied for. That is the job that she accepted.”

Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, had argued that the fault for the shooting lay completely on Baldwin.

“It was not in the script for Mr. Baldwin to point the weapon,” Bowles pointed out during the trial. “She didn’t know that Mr. Baldwin was going to do what he did. Ms. Gutierrez didn’t point that weapon.”

Baldwin, who pulled the trigger on the live round while pointing the gun at Hutchins, has also been charged with involuntary manslaughter and is accused of causing Hutchins’s death either by negligence or “total disregard or indifference” for safety. He has pleaded not guilty, and his trial will begin in July.

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