Rust movie armourer branded jury ‘idiots’ ahead of sentencing for manslaughter

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 26, found guilty in March

Michelle Del Rey,Graig Graziosi
Monday 15 April 2024 17:35 BST
Watch live as Sante Fe authorities discuss fatal shooting on ‘Rust’ movie set

The armourer on the movie Rust, who was convicted of manslaughter last month, trashed jurors in jailhouse calls following the verdict, prosecutors said.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed described the jury as “idiots” and “a**holes,” prosecutors said, after they reached a verdict in two hours. The 26-year-old is to be sentenced on Monday in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

She was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter over the 2021 accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed when a prop gun held by actor Alec Baldwin fired a live round of ammunition during filming.

Hutchins was hit in the chest and Joel Souza, the director, was struck by a bullet in the stomach. Mr Souza survived his injuries but Hutchins did not.

New Mexico prosecutors are seeking the maximum penalty for Gutierrez-Reed, arguing that the jailhouse calls to her mother, boyfriend, and her attorney’s paralegal make clear her “complete and total failure to accept responsibility for her actions," according to court filings on Friday.

Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed pictured in court on 5 March, 2024
Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed pictured in court on 5 March, 2024 (AP)

Prosecutors have asked that she spend 18 months in jail, the longest possible sentence for the charges, according to CNN. She’s also expected to pay a $5,000 fine.

Her attorneys are hoping to avoid the maximum sentence and to secure a conditional discharge for the 26-year-old. They have asked for probation, citing her lack of a criminal record.

In calls from jail, Gutierrez-Reed blamed Hutchins’ death on the doctor and paramedics on set. She also claimed that the judge and special prosecutor’s office conspired against her, the outlet reported.

Prosecutors said that Gutierrez-Reed complained during her phone conversations about how the shooting has affected her life “while never expressing genuine remorse at any time”.

During her two-week trial, prosecutors said that Gutierrez-Reed “repeatedly” failed to maintain proper firearm safety, resulting in negligence that led to Hutchins’ death. Colleagues called the armourer “sloppy” and “unprofessional”.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed on the set of Rust moments after Halyna Hutchins was shot in 2021
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed on the set of Rust moments after Halyna Hutchins was shot in 2021

Gutierrez-Reed's primary job was maintaining, controlling, and ensuring the safe handling of firearms and ammunition on set. Prosecutors argued that the live round that killed Hutchins was pulled from Gutierrez-Reed's work station on the day of the incident.

She routinely left firearms and ammunition lying around the set, prosecutors said. The jury was shown videos of numerous instances in which firearms were not being handled properly by actors. One clip showed Gutierrez-Reed holding a shotgun with the barrel pointed up at her own head.

Alec Baldwin will go on trial in July for involuntary manslaughter over Hutchins’ death.

Baldwin pleaded not guilty in January. Prosecutors say his actions led to “safety compromises”.

Gutierrez-Reed insisted she would not testify at Baldwin’s trial because he did not speak in her defence.

Alec Baldwin on the Rust film set in costume
Alec Baldwin on the Rust film set in costume (Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office)

Her attorneys have called her a scapegoat for Baldwin.

The jury previously acquitted Gutierrez-Reed of a tampering with evidence charge. She’s facing a separate charge of unlawful carrying of a firearm in a licensed liquor establishment, unrelated to the movie-set shooting.

Gutierrez-Reed is being held at Santa Fe County Adult Detention Facility, where she’s been since 6 March. She’s the first person to be put on trial for the Rust movie shooting.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in