Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter in Death of Halyna Hutchins


Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was the armorer on the set of Rust at the time of an accidental shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Gutierrez-Reed was convicted by a 12-person jury on Wednesday after less than three hours of deliberation. She now faces up to 18 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter, but in a split verdict, Gutierrez-Reed was acquitted of separate charges of evidence tampering.

The charges against Gutierrez-Reed stemmed from the accidental shooting of Hutchins on the set of the western Rust in October 2021. Actor/producer Alec Baldwin was handling the gun when it accidentally fired, hitting Hutchins in the stomach and director Joel Souza in the shoulder; Hutchins died after being transported to the hospital.

During the trial, Gutierrez-Reed’s defense claimed she was being treated as a “convenient scapegoat” by “higher-ups” involved in Rust, including Baldwin and other producers, and cited an OSHA ruling that she was denied the authority to determine if additional firearm safety training was necessary.

However, special prosecutor Kerri Morrissey argued that Gutierrez-Reed was responsible for an “astonishing” failure to follow safety protocol. The jury ultimately agreed that Gutierrez-Reed acted with “willful disregard for the safety of others.” and that Hutchins’ death was “foreseeable.”

In Consequence’s 2021 investigation, it was reported that Gutierrez-Reed had been linked to several on-set miscues and accidents prior to the shooting, including numerous mishaps on the set of the Nic Cage-starring Western, The Old Way. According to Stu Brumbaugh, who served as key grip on The Old Way, Gutierrez-Reed was hired despite her inexperience to cut down on costs, but ultimately put the cast and crew in several unnecessarily dangerous situations.

Meanwhile, the film’s assistant director, Dave Halls, accepted a plea agreement to settle a charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon.

As for Baldwin, he also faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter and is expected to go to trial this summer on July 6th. Prosecutors first announced that he was being charged with involuntary manslaughter in January 2023, but the charges were dropped in April 2023 after he pleaded not guilty. In January 2024, he was indicted again by a grand jury for involuntary manslaughter, and faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted. He has since pleaded not guilty.

Amazingly, after all of this, Rust is still moving forward, and resumed production last April with several cast adjustments. Production concluded in May 2023. Additionally, a documentary on Hutchins is in production as well.

Read original article here.

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