Gutierrez-Reed sentenced for ‘Rust’ set tragedy

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the weapons handler responsible for loading a gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie “Rust,” has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, per Gutierrez-Reed, 26, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in March but was acquitted of a second charge of tampering with evidence.

The sentence is the maximum possible, and Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer described Gutierrez-Reed’s actions as a serious, violent offence committed in a physically violent manner. “But for you, Ms Hutchins would be alive. A husband would have his partner and a little boy would have his mother,” Sommer said.

Hutchins, 42, was killed after a gun Baldwin used in a rehearsal fired a live round on the set of the Western in New Mexico. Prosecutors argued that Gutierrez-Reed had failed to ensure the weapon was only loaded with dummy rounds, fake bullets used to look and sound like real ones.

Gutierrez-Reed.                           Getty Images

Gutierrez-Reed was “negligent”, “careless” and “thoughtless” when she failed to notice that live bullets had mixed with dummy rounds in a box of ammunition on set, prosecutors said.

Jurors deliberated for three hours before returning their verdict in March. Hutchins’ parents and her sister said they were “satisfied” with the verdict.

Before she was sentenced, Gutierrez Reed addressed the court, saying that her heart aches for the Hutchins family and friends. “The jury found me guilty; that does not make me a monster. That makes me human,” she said through tears.

But Judge Sommer said she felt the armourer did not take responsibility for her actions. “I did not hear you take accountability,” the judge said.

Hutchins’ mother and sister also spoke in recorded videos from their native Kyiv, Ukraine. The mother, Olga Solovey, said in a translated video that no one involved in her daughter’s death ever reached out to express sympathy.

“It’s very important to me that there is justice,” she said.

During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Gutierrez-Reed had brought a box of live bullets to the New Mexico film set from her California home. They said these live rounds slowly spread throughout the set over the course of 12 days.

Gutierrez-Reed did not testify in the two-week trial, but her lawyer said in closing arguments that prosecutors had failed to prove his client was the sole person responsible for the fatal shooting.

Gutierrez-Reed was found not guilty of evidence tampering stemming from accusations that she attempted to dispose of a small bag of narcotics after the shooting.

Last year, the movie’s cast and crew finished filming in tribute to Ms Hutchins, with her husband serving as an executive producer.


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