Jury deliberations begin in Gutierrez-Reed’s Rust shooting trial

  • 'Rust' movie armorer charged with involuntary manslaughter
  • Prosecutors say Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was negligent 
  • Defense attorneys say she was victim of sabotage 

SANTA FE, N.M. (NewsNation) — Jury deliberations began Wednesday in the trial of movie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who faces involuntary manslaughter charges after the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Hutchins died, and director Joel Souza was injured, by what was thought to be a prop gun on Oct. 21, 2021 at the set of “Rust” in New Mexico. Actor Alec Baldwin has admitted to holding the gun as it went off during rehearsal, and has also been indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges. However, he claims the bullet fired without him pulling the trigger.

Like Baldwin, Gutierrez-Reed has pleaded not guilty to charges against her. She faces up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

A second evidence tampering charge against Gutierrez-Reed was brought amid accusations that she handed a small bag of possible narcotics to another crew member after the shooting to avoid detection.

Special prosecutor Kari Morrissey said Wednesday in closing arguments that Gutierrez-Reed’s negligence lead to Hutchin’s death. Morrissey pointed to live ammunition found on set to show that weapons were handled poorly, as well as other mistakes she said were made on the film set.

“This is not a case where Hannah Gutierrez made one mistake, and that one mistake was accidentally putting a live round into that gun,” Morrissey said. “That’s not what this case is about. This case is about constant, never-ending safety failures that resulted in the death of a human being and nearly killed another.”

Defense lawyers have said, on the other hand, there were widespread mistakes happening at all levels of risk management, and that Gutierrez-Reed is a victim of sabotage.

Gutierrez-Reed’s defense attorney Jason Bowles referenced in his closing arguments an Occupational Safety and Health Administration report showing there were various safety concerns and flaws on set.

He said Gutierrez-Reed could not have anticipated what Baldwin would do when he went off-script the day Hutchins was killed.

“Justice for Halyna does not mean injustice for Hannah,” Bowles said. “It does not mean they get to steamroll her and get to spin their version of facts and call it truth. Because that’s not truth.”

This story is developing. Refresh for updates.


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