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Verdict Reached in Involuntary Manslaughter Trial of ‘Rust’ Armorer

A jury on Wednesday found “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The armorer was responsible for the gun that discharged a live bullet on the Western film set. Hutchins was in the line of fire when actor Alec Baldwin pulled the gun out of his holster on Oct. 21, 2021.

Gutierrez Reed was also found not guilty of evidence tampering, a charge she received in 2023 after investigators accused her of passing off a bag of cocaine on the day of the fatal set shooting.

The jury deliberated for less than three hours at the New Mexico courthouse. After the verdict was read, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer ordered Gutierrez Reed be taken into custody, where she will remain until she is sentenced.

“I’m going to remand you,” Sommer told the courtroom. “The reason is you are now convicted, and this is a death.” Gutierrez Reed was immediately taken into custody by deputies and awaits a sentencing date at the court’s convenience.

She faces up to 18 months in prison, in addition to a $5,000 fine.

The armorer’s trial, which began Feb. 21, saw testimony from weapons experts, FBI and Santa Fe County authorities and crew members who witnessed the fatal shooting.

The prosecution largely focused on Gutierrez Reed’s behavior as an armorer, claiming she didn’t do her job correctly.

“Hannah Gutierrez knew that Baldwin was loose. She knew it,” special prosecutor Kari Morrissey said during closing arguments. “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 legal team had told the jury that the prosecution hadn’t presented enough evidence to convict the armorer of involuntary manslaughter.

“They can’t come in here with a straight face and mock us and criticize us and tell you they have given you enough to convict her beyond a reasonable doubt because they haven’t,” Jason Bowles told the jury.

Bowles claimed there were factors outside of Gutierrez Reed’s control that occurred on set, leading to the fatal shooting.

“Whoever put the live round on set and then Mr. Baldwin, in the end, going off script and doing what he did,” the lawyer said. “Those are outside events outside of Ms. Gutierrez Reed’s control that she didn’t know was going to happen.”

Hutchins died after being shot by a gun Baldwin was holding while staging a scene in a small church at Bonanza Creek Ranch in 2021. The jury heard testimony from director Joel Souza, who was shot in the shoulder during the tense moment.

Hutchins and Souza were working behind the camera to stage the close-up scene when the gun the actor was holding discharged, killing the cinematographer.

“I went inside [the church] again to see, to try to see what the angle was. There were a lot of voices,” Souza recalled during his testimony.

“I heard Alec’s voice. I heard Halyna’s voice, everyone sort of talking at once. I don’t have a clear memory of how long I was standing behind her. I know I got up behind her to … try to see on the monitor, and there was an incredibly loud bang that was not like the half and quarter loads you hear on a set. Those are sort of, they’re loud poofs and pops. This was deafening.”

At the hospital, Souza didn’t even know he had been shot.

“I knew something got me, but they kept saying — they kept talking about this bullet. And it just could not compute for me,” he said. “I just kept saying, ‘You don’t understand. No, no, no. This was a movie set. You know, that’s not possible. You don’t get it.’ And they kept saying, ‘No, no, it is.’ And I just keep insisting, ‘You don’t understand because this is not possible. It’s just not possible that there’s a live round. It’s not. It just can’t.'”

READ 39 COMMENTS
  • Glen Browne says:

    Baldwin is just as if not more responsible he peulled the trigger that ended the life of an innocent woman

  • Glen Browne says:

    Baldwin murdered that girl no one else

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