‘Rust’ gun keeper guilty of manslaughter

Henry

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer on the set of the Alec Baldwin movie restwas found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on Wednesday.

A jury in New Mexico in the US took just over two hours to convict 26-year-old Gutierrez-Reed. In the case that spanned 10 days, the jury heard how Gutierrez-Reed was ultimately responsible for the use of live ammunition on set – a taboo in this industry.

The court also heard how she repeatedly failed to comply with basic safety rules, left firearms unattended and allowed actors – including Baldwin – to brandish firearms.

‚ÄúThis is not a case where Gutierrez-Reed made just one mistake and that was to accidentally put a live cartridge in that gun. This case is about constant, never-ending safety failures that cost the life of one person and nearly killed another,” prosecutor Kari Morrissey said in her closing argument.

Baldwin, 65, was charged in January for his part in a fatal shooting on the set of the Western movie, during which cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot dead and the film’s director Joel Souza was seriously injured with a Colt .45 firearm.

The actor has repeatedly denied responsibility for the incident and insisted he did not pull the trigger.

However, ballistics experts found that the weapon could not have been fired in any other way.

Baldwin’s own manslaughter trial is expected to take place in July.

The tragedy sent shockwaves through Hollywood and led to calls for a total ban on the use of firearms on film sets.

However, industry experts maintain that the necessary safety measures are already in place to prevent such incidents, and that those who rest work, it did not follow.

Morrissey went on to say that on the day Hutchins was shot, the firearms custodian was characteristically haphazard with her supervision of the more than 20 firearms used in the production. Nor was she present while Baldwin and the film crew prepared for the scene in question.

“She left the weapon in the wooden church on the set, contrary to all the industry standards for armor on movie sets,” Morrissey said.

Hutchins, 42, was standing near the camera that would be used to film the scene.

The bullet went through her chest and also hit Souza, the director.

Hutchins was rushed to a hospital by helicopter, but was pronounced dead the same day.

Investigators found a total of six sharp cartridges on the set.

According to Morrissey, Gutierrez-Reed did not perform standard checks to ensure that the dummy cartridges she thought she loaded into firearms were inactive, including shaking them to hear their characteristic rattle.

Gutierrez-Reed showed no emotion as the verdict was read.

The judge remanded her in custody pending her sentencing, which is not expected until next month.

She could face up to 18 months in prison.

The jury found Gutierrez-Reed not guilty of a separate charge of allegedly tampering with evidence. The charge relates to the alleged concealment of cocaine in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

Dave Halls, the movie’s security coordinator and assistant director who handed the firearm to Baldwin when the incident occurred, agreed to a plea deal with the state and was sentenced to six months’ probation.

Hutchins’ parents welcomed the ruling against Gutierrez-Reed.

Halyna’s widower, Matthew Hutchins, has already reached a settlement agreement with the producers of the movie and has also acted as executive producer for the film.

The filming of rest was halted during the fatal incident, but was completed on set in Montana last year. No release date has been set for the movie yet.