“Rust” Weapons Supervisor Found Guilty In Accidental Shooting

The weapons supervisor responsible for loading the prop gun that was accidentally fired by Alec Baldwin on the set of “Rust” and resulted in the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter. However, she has been acquitted of the charge of evidence tampering.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed entered a plea of not guilty for both charges. Similarly, Alec Baldwin, who was holding the gun when it discharged, also pleaded not guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter. It is worth noting that Joel Souza, the film’s director, was also injured during the incident. During Gutierrez-Reed’s trial, Souza provided emotional testimony recounting the events.

Gutierrez-Reed could potentially spend up to 18 months in prison and be fined $5,000 for the conviction of involuntary manslaughter. The sentencing will take place at a later time, and Gutierrez-Reed was immediately taken into custody after the verdicts were announced.

According to Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, he intends to appeal “several concerns that arose during the trial,” as reported by CBS News.

In a statement provided by Gloria Allred and John Carpenter, attorneys representing Hutchins’ family, they expressed their satisfaction with the jury’s decision to find Hannah Gutierrez-Reed guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for her involvement in Halyna’s tragic death. The family believes that justice is being served, and they are hopeful that the legal system will hold all other individuals accountable for their actions in relation to Halyna’s passing.

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Prosecutors claimed that Gutierrez-Reed had brought live ammunition onto the Western set, emphasizing that the live ammunition found did not correspond to the bullets obtained from the film’s ammunition supplier in Albuquerque. Furthermore, they contended that Gutierrez-Reed had disregarded basic safety protocols regarding weapons. In response, the defense argued that the issues encountered on the set were beyond Gutierrez-Reed’s jurisdiction, and that the primary ammunition supplier had not undergone a thorough investigation.

During the testimony on Tuesday, the ammunition supplier of the film “Rust” stated that he had supplied only dummy rounds for the production. However, he also mentioned that he had been involved with providing live ammunition for another production during the same period.

During the trial, David Halls, the safety coordinator for the film “Rust,” gave his testimony, stating that Gutierrez-Reed had passed the revolver to Baldwin on two occasions. In one instance, the gun was unloaded, while in the second instance, it contained both dummy rounds and a live bullet. Halls, who previously pleaded no contest to negligent use of a firearm and fulfilled six months of unsupervised parole, testified that he and Gutierrez-Reed conducted a basic safety check before handing the gun to Baldwin the second time.

Halls’ statement contradicted previous comments regarding the shooting. Gutierrez-Reed, although not testifying, had informed investigators that she had given the gun to Halls and then left the filming area. Initially, Baldwin had stated that Gutierrez-Reed handed him the weapon, but he later revised his account and said it was Halls who had passed it to him.

In a statement released through her lawyers in November 2021, Gutierrez-Reed expressed her lack of knowledge regarding how the live ammunition was loaded into the gun. She emphasized that she had conducted a thorough safety check of the weapon prior to handing it over to Hall.

Gutierrez-Reed’s statement acknowledged that nobody could have predicted or expected that someone would bring real bullets onto the set.

During the press briefing, a juror emphasized that the primary factor leading to the conviction of Gutierrez-Reed was his failure to verify the weapons.

“There’s a problem if you have live rounds and you’re not even aware of it, let alone checking them,” remarked Albert Sanchez outside the courthouse.

According to the Associated Press, Gutierrez-Reed is facing a second charge of evidence tampering. The allegation is based on the claim that Gutierrez-Reed gave a small bag, suspected to contain narcotics, to another crew member on the film set in an attempt to avoid being detected after the shooting.

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