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Armourer Found Guilty In ‘Rust’ Set Shooting, Sentenced To 18 Months

Rust Armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed has received the maximum sentence of 18 months after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer on the movie set of “Rust” who loaded a gun that ultimately killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

The 26-year-old armorer was convicted in March, although she was acquitted of tampering with evidence related to the 2021 shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the film set.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer, presiding over the case in a New Mexico court, handed down the maximum possible sentence on Monday. She emphasised the severity of Gutierrez-Reed’s actions, describing them as a serious, violent offense that directly led to Hutchins’ death.

Addressing Gutierrez-Reed, Judge Sommer stated, “You alone turned a safe weapon into a lethal weapon. But for you, Ms. Hutchins would be alive. A husband would have his partner and a little boy would have his mother.”

The tragic incident occurred during a rehearsal when a gun fired by actor Alec Baldwin discharged a live round instead of a dummy one. Prosecutors argued that Gutierrez-Reed failed to ensure the weapon was properly loaded with only dummy rounds, leading to the fatal accident.

During the trial, prosecutor Kari T. Morrissey emphasised Gutierrez-Reed’s negligence, describing her actions as “careless” and “thoughtless.” The prosecution asserted that Gutierrez-Reed overlooked the presence of live bullets mixed with dummy rounds in the ammunition box on set, one of which ended up in the firearm used by Baldwin.

Morissey also added that Guiterrez-Reed was more concerned about her career” and less about the victims in the aftermath of the shooting.

Although, Guiterrez-Reed did not testify during the two-week trial, her lawyer said prosecutors had failed to prove his client was the sole person responsible for the fatal shooting.

“The (ammunition) boxes don’t matter, because we don’t know what was in them three or four days before,” her lawyer, Jason Bowles told the jury, arguing his client did not know that there were real bullets on set.

Bowles also blamed Baldwin, arguing that he deviated from the script by aiming the gun at the film crew. “It was not in the script for Mr Baldwin to point the weapon,” he said. “She didn’t know that Mr Baldwin was going to do what he did”, he said.

Prior to her sentencing, Gutierrez-Reed addressed the court, expressing empathy for the Hutchins family and friends.

“The jury found me guilty, that doesn’t make me a monster. That makes me a human”, she tearfully stated.

However, Judge Sommer criticised the armorer for not taking full accountability. “I did not hear you take responsibility,” the judge remarked.

Bowles pledged to appeal the guilty verdict.

Following the verdict, Hutchins’ family expressed satisfaction, stating their anticipation for legal accountability for all responsible parties involved in her death. They emphasised their commitment to seeking justice through the legal process.

From their hometown of Kyiv, Ukraine, Ms. Hutchins’ mother and sister shared their thoughts in recorded videos. In a translated message, Olga Solovey, the mother, spoke about the absence of any expressions of sympathy from those involved in her daughter’s death.

“It’s very impoertant to me that there is justice,” she stated.

Melissa Enoch

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