'Rust' armorer sentenced to 18 months over deadly on-set shooting

‘Rust’ armorer sentenced to 18 months over deadly on-set shooting

/ 10:48 AM April 16, 2024

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed wipes her tears at her sentencing

Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed wipes her tears at her sentencing at district court on Monday, April 15, 2024, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Armorer on the set of the Western film “Rust,” Gutierrez Reed was convicted by a jury of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins who was fatally shot by Alec Baldwin in 2021. Gutierrez-Reed was sentenced to 18 months in prison. LUIS SÁNCHEZ SATURNO-Pool / Getty Images via AFP

LOS ANGELES — The armorer who loaded the gun that killed a cinematographer on the set of the Alec Baldwin movie “Rust” was sentenced to 18 months in prison by a US court on Monday, April 15.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed stood impassive as a judge in New Mexico told her she was not remorseful for the October 2021 death of Halyna Hutchins during filming of the budget Western.


“You were the armorer, the one that stood between a safe weapon and a weapon that could kill someone. You alone turned a safe weapon into a lethal weapon,” Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer said.


“But for you, Miss Hutchins would be alive. A husband would have his partner and a little boy would have his mother.”

Gutierrez-Reed’s 10-day trial for involuntary manslaughter had heard how despite being the person charged with handling on-set firearms, the 26-year-old had repeatedly failed to follow basic safety rules, leaving guns unattended and allowing actors—including Baldwin—to wave weapons around.

It also heard how she was responsible for the presence of six live rounds—a movie industry red line—and how she had loaded one of them into the Colt .45 that Baldwin was using.

The weapon discharged as the actor was preparing a scene inside a wooden church, killing Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

“Halyna Hutchins died due to a cascade of safety violations that began with Miss Gutierrez introducing live rounds to the movie set, loading one into a prop gun telling the members of the crew that it was a cold gun,” prosecutor Kari Morrissey told the sentencing hearing in Santa Fe.

“That conduct absent responsibility or remorse is deserving of a sentence of 18 months.”


‘Not sorry’

Morrissey told the judge that since her conviction, Gutierrez-Reed had made around 200 calls from jail in which she complained that she was being unfairly victimized.

“Rather than accept responsibility, she has chosen to place blame on the witnesses who testified against her, me, you, the jurors, the set medic and the paramedics who tried to save Miss Hutchins’ life,” Morrissey said.

“Her jail calls… tell us who Miss Gutierrez really is.”

Gutierrez-Reed sobbed as she begged the court for probation, rather than jail time, but still insisted she was not wholly to blame.

“Your Honor, when I took on ‘Rust,’ I was young and I was naive. But I took my job as seriously as I knew how to, despite not having proper time, resources and staffing.

“The jury has found me in part at fault for this god-awful tragedy. But that doesn’t make me a monster. That makes me human,” she said.

The judge dismissed the plea.

“I did not hear you take accountability in your allocution,” Sommers said.

“You said you were sorry… but not… for what you did.

“It was your attorney that had to tell the court that you were remorseful. The word ‘remorse’: a deep regret coming from a sense of guilt for past wrongs; That’s not you.”

The movie’s star Baldwin, who was also a producer, faces his own involuntary manslaughter trial in July. He denies the charge.

If convicted, he too faces a possible 18 months in prison.

Dave Halls, the film’s safety coordinator and assistant director, who handed Baldwin the loaded gun, agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors last year and was sentenced to six months’ probation.

The tragedy sent shock waves through Hollywood and led to calls for a complete ban on the use of weapons on movie sets.

Industry insiders, however, insisted that rules were already in place to prevent such incidents, and that those working on “Rust” had not followed them.

The filming of “Rust” was halted by Hutchins’ death, but completed last year on location in Montana.

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The cinematographer’s widower, Matthew Hutchins, who has already settled a wrongful death suit with “Rust” producers, served as an executive producer.

TAGS: Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, Rust, sentencing

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