‘Rust’ armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed sentenced to 18 months

A judge on Monday sentenced Hannah Gutierrez-Reed to the maximum possible after a jury in New Mexico found her guilty last month of involuntary manslaughter in the death of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

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A jury convicted Gutierrez-Reed on an involuntary manslaughter charge last month after a bullet fired from a prop gun held by actor Alec Baldwin struck Hutchins and director Joel Souza in 2021, killing Hutchins and injuring Souza.

Baldwin has also been charged with involuntary manslaughter. “Rust” assistant director David Halls, who served as the film’s safety coordinator, earlier pleaded no contest to negligent use of a deadly weapon.

Judge sentences Gutierrez-Reed to 18 months

Update 2:30 p.m. EDT April 15: A judge sentenced Gutierrez-Reed to 18 months in prison after a jury convicted her of involuntary manslaughter in the October 2021 death of Halyna Hutchins.

“A conditional discharge is not appropriate,” District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer said. “And the second option of leaving you in the detention center would be giving you a pass you do not deserve.”

Gutierrez-Reed will serve her sentence at a New Mexico women’s correction facility.

“I find that what you did constitute a serious violent offense. It was committed in a physically violent manner,” Marlowe Sommer said. “A fatal gunshot done with your recklessness in the face of knowledge that your acts were reasonably likely to result in serious harm.

“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. But for you, Ms. Hutchins would be alive, a husband would have his partner and a little boy would have his mother.”

Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Hutchins’ family, read an emotional statement from Hutchins’ mother in court on Monday. She remembered her daughter as “the best daughter on this Earth.”

“After this tragedy, my life has been split into two: before and after. Time does not heal. It simply prolongs my pain and suffering,” she said. “I have hope that the guilty, those that are responsible for the death of my daughter, will be punished fairly and sentenced justly. Justice must prevail.”

Original report: Attorneys for Gutierrez-Reed asked a judge for conditional discharge, noting their client’s remorse and her lack of a criminal history. In a court filing last week, they said she “has endured and will continue to endure collateral consequences far harsher than most defendants ever must face.”

“This conviction and press deluge will forever impact her life going forward, including with job prospects, and simply trying to lead a ‘normal’ life again someday,” defense attorneys wrote.

In their response, prosecutors told the judge that conditional discharge would be inappropriate for Gutierrez-Reed because she has failed to accept responsibility for her role in Hutchins’ death. They pointed to jailhouse phone calls in which she called jurors “idiots” and other names and complained about the negative effects the trial has had on her life and her modeling career.

They also said the 26-year-old is facing another felony charge on allegations that she hid a firearm from security to get it into a bar in New Mexico. Afterward, she made a video in which she gloated about sneaking in the firearm and “held up a nickel-plated semi-automatic pistol in front of the camera,” prosecutors said.

They asked a judge to sentence Gutierrez-Reed to the maximum.

During trial, evidence showed that Gutierrez-Reed brought live rounds onto the set of “Rust” and failed to properly check dummy rounds before the deadly shooting on Oct. 21, 2021, prosecutors said. Authorities said she loaded a live round into a prop gun and handed it off for Baldwin before the gun went off, killing Hutchins.

Baldwin has denied wrongdoing in the shooting, claiming that he never pulled the trigger before the gun fired. Jury selection is scheduled to begin in his trial in July.