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Assistant Sentenced to Maximum for Providing Loaded Gun to Alec Baldwin Resulting in Death on “Rust” Set

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer in charge of weapons on the set of the film “Rust,” has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter. This comes after Alec Baldwin accidentally fired a firearm, resulting in the death of the film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins. The verdict was handed down by Judge Mary Sommer of Santa Fe after Gutierrez-Reed was found guilty by a jury. She is the first team member to be convicted in connection with the tragic incident.

In New Mexico, involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 18 months and a fine of up to $5,000. The Prosecutor’s Office pushed for the maximum penalty for Gutierrez-Reed, who has been in custody since March. Although she was found responsible for involuntary manslaughter, she was not charged with evidence tampering. Judge Sommer denied a request for a new trial and rejected a motion to release Gutierrez-Reed while she appeals the conviction.

During the sentencing, Judge Sommer noted Gutierrez-Reed’s lack of remorse. Despite her plea for probation, Gutierrez-Reed did not take responsibility for her actions. She claimed to have taken her job seriously despite the lack of proper resources and time. Gutierrez-Reed also expressed sorrow for the pain caused to Hutchins’ family and friends, rejecting the media portrayal of her as a monster.

Prosecutor Kari Morrissey urged the judge to impose the maximum sentence, citing a series of violations on the set that led to Hutchins’ death. The agent of the deceased, Craig Mizrahi, criticized the producers for compromising safety and hiring an inexperienced weapons handler, emphasizing that the incident was not a mere accident but a chain of preventable events.

The trial of Alec Baldwin is set to begin in July, where he will face manslaughter charges. Prosecutors claim that Baldwin, also a producer on the film, put others at risk by not attending initial gun handling training and employing an inexperienced armorer. Gutierrez-Reed’s conviction could set a precedent for Baldwin’s potential sentence and establish liability for future incidents of production negligence.

The tragic incident occurred on October 21, 2021, during a rehearsal involving Alec Baldwin. It was discovered that live cartridges were mixed with dummy rounds on the set, although the source of these cartridges remains unclear. The defense argued that Gutierrez-Reed was unfairly made a scapegoat for the events that unfolded.

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