‘Rust’ Armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed Makes First Court Appearance in Manslaughter Case
Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer who loaded Alec Baldwin’s gun on the set of “Rust,” made her first court appearance Friday in her involuntary manslaughter case.
Gutierrez Reed did not enter a plea at the hearing, which was held via Google Meet. Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer, of the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe, N.M., advised her of her rights and set conditions of her release.
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At the brief hearing, District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies argued that Gutierrez Reed should not be allowed to possess a gun during the pendency of the case, given the allegation that she had engaged in “sloppy mishandling of firearms.”
Jason Bowles, Gutierrez Reed’s lawyer, argued that she should be able to have a gun for self defense in her home. Bowles said that the state released Gutierrez Reed’s personal information, which exposed her to harassment and threatening voicemails. She has also had to get a restraining order against a stalker, Bowles said.
The judge allowed her to possess a gun at her home.
Gutierrez Reed did not appear on camera during the hearing as it was streamed on YouTube. The court later provided an image that showed all participants on the video call, including Gutierrez Reed.
The hearing came a day after Baldwin pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Baldwin waived his right to appear for an arraignment, and instead submitted the plea via a court filing.
Both are accused of acting with “criminal negligence” that resulted in the death of Halyna Hutchins, the film’s cinematographer. Prosecutors have acknowledged that the shooting was an accident, but allege that both Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed displayed a willful disregard for the safety of others.
Under New Mexico law, prosecutors must prove that the defendants had “subjective knowledge” of the danger posed by their actions in order to get a conviction. The defendants have said they had no idea that a live bullet was on set.
If convicted, both defendants face up to 18 months in prison. On Monday, prosecutors dropped a firearm enhancement that could have added another five years to their sentences, after defense lawyers pointed out that the enhancement was not in effect at the time of the shooting.
Gutierrez Reed’s lawyers previously defended her conduct, saying that the D.A.’s office “completely misunderstood the facts.”
“We will fight these charges and we expect that a jury will find Hannah not guilty,” they said.
Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed have both moved to disqualify Andrea Reeb, the appointed special prosecutor in the case, on the grounds that she cannot serve as a prosecutor while she is also a member of the state House of Representatives. The D.A.’s office must respond to that motion by March 6.
The court is expected to set a status hearing, which could take place next month.
After that, the case will go to a preliminary hearing. Prosecutors must present enough evidence to persuade a judge that the case should go to trial. That hearing is expected to take place sometime in the next few months, possibly in May.
Rust Movie Productions announced this week that they will resume production this spring at the Yellowstone Film Ranch in Montana. The film has been on hold since the shooting in October 2021.
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