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Armourer who handed gun to Alec Baldwin found guilty over fatal movie set shooting

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armourer who handed actor Alec Baldwin a gun on the set of Rust , was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

Andrea Cavallier
Thursday 07 March 2024 15:13 GMT
‘Rust’ firearms supplier tells armourer’s manslaughter trial he never provided live rounds

A jury has found Hannah Gutierrez-Reed guilty of involuntary manslaughter in connection to the accidental 2021 shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The armourer who gave Alec Baldwin a gun on the set of the doomed movie Rust did not take the stand in her own defence during the trial, which lasted nearly two weeks.

The jury deliberated for 2.5 hours before delivering the verdict on Wednesday. She was found not guilty of evidence tampering.

Gutierrez-Reed did not react as the verdicts were read out, but appeared to be in disbelief when the judge ordered she be taken into custody.

Loved ones and supporters gathered in the Santa Fe courtroom were visibly upset. Her sentencing was set for April, but an exact date is to be determined. She faces up to 18 months in prison.

Actor and producer Alec Baldwin is also facing involuntary manslaughter charges related to the shooting. His trial will begin on 9 July.

Prosecutors said Gutierrez-Reed is to blame for unwittingly bringing live ammunition on set and that she flouted basic safety protocols for weapons handling.

The defence said she was unfairly scapegoated for problems beyond her control, including Mr Baldwin’s handling of the weapons.


Morrissey says Gutierrez-Reed had ‘every opportunity’ to check box of dummies

Morrissey said it was understood that an armorer should not be expected to take on the duties of both an armorer and a prop master.

And that several witnesses testified that this wasn’t a good idea.

“But this was simply not the case,” she said, referring to the day of the fatal shooting.

“She had three hours in the morning waiting for the camera crew,” she added.

“She had every opportunity to go through that box of dummies. How long does it take to shake each and every one of them - 10 minutes max? That’s not hard.”

Andrea Cavallier6 March 2024 18:22

Alec Baldwin will have to answer for his conduct – but not today

Morrissey comments on the defence placing the blame on others, including actor Alec Baldwin, who they accused of acting like a prima donna on set.

“This is Hollywood for heaven’s sake. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying his conduct was right. I am the person who indicted him,” she said.

“Baldwin’s conduct in that church, on that day is something he will have to answer for - not with you, not today.”

“That will be with another jury on another day,” she added.

Andrea Cavallier6 March 2024 18:29

The 60,000 question: Who brought the live rounds on set?

“I’m not telling you Hannah intended to bring live rounds on set,” she said. “She was careless, thoughtless,” she added, naming some of the witnesses who said they never saw her shake the dummy rounds to test them.

“She didn’t shake those dummy rounds,” she said. “For all we know those rounds came from the Old Way (another movie set).

“Nicholas Cage is lucky to have walked away with his life.”

Andrea Cavallier6 March 2024 18:33

State describes Hutchins’ lethal injuries and says Gutierrez was only worried about her career

“That bullet went into her body, went through her rib, severed her spinal cord, punctured her lung, came out the back of her shoulder and a few hours later, Ms Gutierrez is... worried about her career,” she said referring to Gutierrez’s comments she made hours after the shooting.

Andrea Cavallier6 March 2024 18:38

Court takes 15-minute recess

The state has wrapped the first portion of closing arguments.

The defence is next. But first the court is taking a 15-minute recess.

After the defence has their turn, the state said they will be asking for justice for Halyna Hutchins.

Andrea Cavallier6 March 2024 18:41

Defence is now giving closing arguments

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s defence attorney is now giving his closing arguments.

“This is her day in court,” Bowles says.

Andrea Cavallier6 March 2024 19:03

Defence says state has not ruled out reasonable doubt

Defence attorney Jason Bowles said it’s extremely important that the government rule out every reasonable doubt.

He said Sarah Zachary threw away rounds after the shooting – and argued that is reasonable doubt to the accuracy of the state’s argument.

Andrea Cavallier6 March 2024 19:08

Defence calls Hannah Gutierrez-Reed the ‘convenient fall person’

Bowles said  Gutierrez-Reed was ganged up on and became the “convenient fall person” in the shooting.

“That’s what happened in this case,” he said. “You had a production company on a shoestring budget, an A-list actor (Baldwin) calling all the shots. In the end, they had someone they could all blame.”

He also pointed out that OSHA made an official determination that this was a production and management issue.

“The buck stops with production.”

Andrea Cavallier6 March 2024 19:19

Defence plays video of Alec Baldwin firing blank after ‘cut’ was yelled

Bowles played a clip from a video of a scene that shows Alec Baldwin firing a blank after “cut” was yelled.

He pointed out that Mr Baldwin “went off script” and chose to fire after “cut” was yelled.

“And he did it again,” he said, adding that it was not in the script to point the weapon.

Andrea Cavallier6 March 2024 19:26

Defence wraps closing arguments

Bowles ended his closing arguments saying that “Justice for Halyna does not mean injustice for Hannah.”

He made a few last points arguing that Gutierrez-Reed could not anticipate what Baldwin would do when he went off script and that management was responsible for safety failures.

He said Gutierrez-Reed is a scapegoat for all the failures.

“Justice for Halyna does not mean injustice for Hannah. It does not mean they get to steamroll her and get to spin their version of facts and call it truth. Because that’s not true.”

Andrea Cavallier6 March 2024 19:56

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