"You turned safe weapon into lethal:" Rust movie armorer handed 18 months prison over fatal shooting


Tuesday, 16 April 2024 (15:24 IST)
A US court sentenced a movie weapons supervisor to 18 months in prison over involuntary manslaughter in the case of the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was the armorer responsible for firearms on the set of the film Rust.
Hutchins, 42, was killed after actor Alec Baldwin aimed a gun at her as they were preparing a scene of the movie in October 2021.
The 26-year-old weapons handler was found guilty on March 6.
Baldwin faces involuntary manslaughter proceedings in July. He has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial in July at a courthouse in Santa Fe.
What do we know about the proceedings against the 'Rust' armorer? 
"You were the armorer, the one that stood between a safe weapon and a weapon that could kill someone. You alone turned a safe weapon into a lethal weapon," Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer said, handing down Gutierrez-Reed's sentence.
"But for you, Miss Hutchins would be alive. A husband would have his partner and a little boy would have his mother."
Gutierrez's trial heard how she was responsible for the presence of six live rounds and how she loaded them into the Colt .45 firearm that Baldwin had used.
She was also accused of failing to follow other basic safety rules, including leaving firearms unattended and letting actors wave them around.
"Halyna Hutchins died due to a cascade of safety violations that began with Miss Gutierrez-Reed introducing live rounds to the movie set, loading one into a prop gun telling the members of the crew that it was a cold gun," prosecutor Kari Morrissey argued during the trial.
"That conduct absent of responsibility or remorse is deserving of a sentence of 18 months."
Morrissey said that Gutierrez-Reed had not taken responsibility and had complained about being victimized since her conviction.
Defense requests probation, blames Baldwin
Gutierrez's lawyer Jason Bowles had requested she be given probation.
Bowles argued that Gutierrez was being used as a scapegoat for a chaotic production where she was not given enough time to properly check weapons. He blamed Hutchin's death on Baldwin, who he accused of rushing filming.
Baldwin was a producer and writer on the film, as well as starring in it.

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