Armorer on ‘Rust’ set gets maximum sentence for fatal shooting involving actor Alec Baldwin

The armorer on the set of “Rust” back in October 2021 when 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed has been given the maximum sentence.

Last month, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was convicted of involuntary manslaughter but acquitted of a lesser charge of tampering with evidence, Blaze News previously reported. As armorer, Gutierrez-Reed was responsible for checking the safety of all ammunition and guns on set. She was also the person who loaded a live round into the weapon that fired the fatal shot.

Gutierrez-Reed, who was just 24 at the time of the shooting, sobbed throughout her sentencing hearing on Monday. Her attorney, Jason Bowles, had requested that she be given conditional release along with counseling, claiming she was a “scapegoat” for the shooting and insisting she “has endured and will continue to endure collateral consequences far harsher than most defendants ever must face.”

Prosecutor Kari Morrissey stated she might have been persuaded to recommend a lighter sentence for this “unprecedented case” — until she found out Gutierrez-Reed had apparently been referring to jurors as “idiots” and “a**h***s” on recent phone calls from jail.

In addition, reports indicate that while awaiting trial, Gutierrez-Reed violated the conditions of her release by drinking alcohol. She also allegedly misled prosecutors about her work history and encouraged her mother to confront them in the bathroom at court, the New York Post reported.

Gutierrez-Reed “continues to deny responsibility and blame others,” prosecutors explained in a letter last week.

“It was my sincere hope during this process that there would be some moment when Ms. Gutierrez took responsibility and expressed some level of remorse that was genuine. That moment has never come. Ms. Gutierrez continues to refuse to take responsibility for her role in the death of Halyna Hutchins,” Morrissey said at the hearing.

District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer agreed, sentencing Gutierrez-Reed to 18 months in prison, the maximum sentence for involuntary manslaughter in the state of New Mexico, where “Rust” was filmed. “You alone turned a safe weapon into a lethal weapon,” the judge told the defendant. “But for you, a husband would have his wife and a little boy would have his mother.”

Bowles previously indicated that the defense intends to appeal. Gutierrez-Reed has remained behind bars since her conviction.

Several of Hutchins’ loved ones gave impact statements at the hearing, explaining how the loss continues to affect their lives. Emilia Mendieta, one of Hutchins’ closest friends, blamed Hutchins’ death on “a massive system failure,” of which Gutierrez-Reed was a part. “Why was there a live bullet on set? … That is where Hannah Gutierrez-Reed failed Halyna. It was her job to check the gun, check the bullets, to ensure that Halyna was safe,” she said.

According to family friend Steven Metz, Matt Hutchins, Halyna’s widower, “basically … died” when his wife died. “There is really no excuse [for her death],” he added.

Actor Alec Baldwin also faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the case. Though all evidence suggests he fired the shot that killed Hutchins, Baldwin denies ever pulling the trigger, claiming instead that the gun malfunctioned. His trial is scheduled for July.

David Halls, the first assistant director on “Rust,” pled no contest to negligent use of a deadly weapon and has been sentenced to probation.

Filming of “Rust” was placed on hold following the shooting, but it was eventually completed. No release date has been announced. As part of the settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit, Matthew Hutchins was named an executive producer.

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