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Rust juror explains why armourer who handed gun to Alec Baldwin before fatal shooting was found guilty

‘You’ve got to take responsibility, especially when you’re handling weapons,’ the juror told reporters after the verdict

Julia Reinstein
Thursday 07 March 2024 20:37 GMT
Rust armourer immediately remanded in custody for involuntary manslaughter

A member of the jury that found Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed guilty of involuntary manslaughter spoke out, explaining why the panel reached their verdict.

“[She] never did the safety checks, never checked the rounds to pull them out to look at them, shake them,” juror Alberto Sanchez told reporters after the decision. “I mean, if you would’ve done that, this wouldn’t have happened.”

The court was told that while on the set of the movie in 2021, Gutierrez-Reed handed Alec Baldwin a gun that unwittingly contained live ammunition. While rehearsing a scene, the gun went off, accidentally killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

In a Santa Fe, New Mexico courtroom on Wednesday, sGutierrez-Reed was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for Ms Hutchins’s death. She had also been charged with evidence tampering but was found not guilty.

During the trial, prosecutors said the armourer exhibited an “astonishing lack of diligence” on set, often cutting corners or completely skipping out on gun safety measures.

These “constant, never-ending safety failures” made the fatal shooting “willful and foreseeable,” prosecutor Kari Morrissey told the jury.

“This was a game of Russian roulette every time an actor had a gun with dummies,” added Ms Morrissey.

Speaking outside the courthouse after the verdict, Mr Sanchez compared the risks that come with his work as a truck driver to Ms Gutierrez-Reed’s job as an armourer.

“I have to check my vehicle to make sure I’m not going to slam into people or do something like that,” he said. “That was her job, to check those rounds, those firearms.”

Reaching a verdict wasn’t difficult, he said, noting that testimony about the “very unsafe conditions” on set made the decision “obvious.”

“Someone died,” Mr Sanchez said. “You’ve got to take responsibility, especially when you’re handling weapons and you’re in charge of those — that’s your job.”

Ms Gutierrez-Reed faces up to 18 months in prison and is expected to be sentenced in April. She was immediately remanded in custody by the judge following her conviction.

The trial for Mr Baldwin, who also faces involuntary manslaughter charges, is set to begin on 9 July.

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