‘Rust’ Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Has Been Found Guilty Of Involuntary Manslaughter

It’s been two-and-a-half since an accidental shooting on the set of the Western Rust took the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Since then what happened that day has been a mystery. But on Wednesday there was some form of closure.

Per The New York Times, a jury has found armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed guilty of involuntary manslaughter. She now faces up to 18 months in prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

As the set’s armorer, Gutierrez-Reed was responsible for checking the safety of the firearms. She was supposed to load one gun with inert cartridges. Alas, a live round made it in. The gun was then fired during rehearsal by actor-producer Alec Baldwin, hitting both Hutchins and director Joel Souza, who was wounded.

Gutierrez-Reed repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. She never took the stand during her trial.

During the trial, which lasted two weeks, prosecutors argued that Guiterrez-Reed — who had been relatively inexperienced as an armorer and who’d already incurred the wrath of Nicolas Cage on another set — had a pattern of negligence on the film’s set. Crew members testified to her conduct, saying she had done things like keep a messy and disorganized prop cart, where weapons and ammunition are kept. She also sometimes failed to take weapons away from actors as soon as cut was called.

The jury, who reached a verdict after two-and-a-half hours of deliberation, concluded that it was Gutierrez-Reed’s job to check for live rounds in the prop weapons.

Throughout the trial, Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers put the blame on the production, who allegedly rushed through filming and cut corners. Indeed, one experienced armorer had turned down the job because of what they saw as “massive red flags.”

Baldwin is still facing his own trial for involuntary manslaughter, which is scheduled for July.

(Via NYT)