'Rust' Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Found Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter in Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins' Death

Defense claimed she was made a scapegoat for broader safety issues on the set

Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the tragic shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, a jury in Santa Fe decided. However, the jury declined to convict her on evidence tampering charges. Gutierrez-Reed, a 26-year-old from Arizona, could face up to 18 months in prison for her role in the incident.

Rust Armor

The incident took place on October 21, 2021, during a rehearsal when a firearm being handled by actor Alec Baldwin discharged, hitting Hutchins and director Joel Souza. Five live rounds were found mixed with dummy rounds on the set after the incident, raising questions about safety protocols.

Prosecutors argued that Gutierrez-Reed was negligent in handling firearms and ammunition, while the defense claimed she was made a scapegoat for broader safety issues on the set. Baldwin, who also faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, has maintained his innocence and is set to go to trial in July.

The verdict in Gutierrez-Reed's case could impact Baldwin's trial, with legal experts suggesting it may lessen the pressure to convict him. Testimony from assistant director David Halls, who contradicted Baldwin's account of how he received the firearm, could be crucial in Baldwin's trial.

The incident has drawn attention to safety practices on film sets, particularly low-budget productions. Last year, producers of "Rust" settled citations for safety violations, acknowledging lapses in firearm safety procedures and a failure to train crew properly.

Despite the tragedy, filming for "Rust" was completed in Montana after Hutchins' death, ending a difficult chapter for the production.