Movie Set Armorer Seeking New Trial

Movie Set Armorer Seeking New Trial

( – On March 6, movie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in late 2021. After the verdict, the 26-year-old woman was placed in the custody of the state to await sentencing on April 15. Recently, her attorneys filed a motion on her behalf.

On March 18, Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers asked the judge for a new trial and requested their client’s release during the new proceedings. Defense Attorneys Jason Bowles and Monnica Barreras claimed in their emergency court motion that the instructions given to the jury before deliberations could have been confusing, resulting in a “nonunanimous verdict.” The same objections were raised during the trial but were rejected by the judge at that time.

The armorer faces up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine for her crime, which happened on the set of the movie “Rust.” During a rehearsal on set, actor Alec Baldwin was unknowingly given a pistol with live rounds. While practicing, the gun went off, striking and killing Ms. Hutchins and injuring the director. Baldwin was also charged with involuntary manslaughter, and his trial is set to commence later this year.

Prosecutors in Gutierrez-Reed’s case said her carelessness in bringing live ammunition to the set and not noticing they were loaded into the gun instead of blanks was “thoughtless” and “negligent.” The jury agreed. However, Bowles said he believes his client was merely a “scapegoat” in the tragedy, stating she had to complete too many jobs on set simultaneously. He also claimed Baldwin wasn’t supposed to point the gun while practicing the scene but went “off script.” It’s unclear why the armorer brought live rounds to the set in the first place, as it is forbidden.

Assistant Director and Safety Coordinator Dave Halls was also charged in connection to the incident. He already pleaded no contest in 2023 for negligently handling a firearm and served six months probation.

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