in

‘Rust’ Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Is Sentenced for Involuntary Manslaughter

‘Rust’ Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Is Sentenced for Involuntary Manslaughter
Announcement


The armorer on the film “Rust,” who loaded a live round into a revolver that went off on the set in 2021 and killed its cinematographer, was sentenced on Monday to 18 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

Announcement

The sentence was the maximum that the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, could receive.

In her manslaughter trial last month, prosecutors argued that Ms. Gutierrez-Reed had been repeatedly reckless in her job of managing weapons and ammunition, directly causing the tragedy on Oct. 21, 2021, when the gun that Alec Baldwin was practicing drawing from his shoulder holster fired a live bullet, killing the cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins.

Mr. Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to an involuntary manslaughter charge. His trial is scheduled for July, though a judge is currently weighing a motion from his defense to dismiss the indictment.

The sentencing by Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer came after prosecutors released summaries of calls that Ms. Gutierrez-Reed had made from jail, where she was sent after her conviction.

Prosecutors used the calls, during which Ms. Gutierrez-Reed calls the jurors in her case “idiots,” to argue that she should receive the highest possible sentence. The call summaries include Ms. Gutierrez-Reed saying that the judge was on a “power trip” and alleging, without evidence, that the judge was “getting paid off.”

Judge Marlowe Sommer said during the hearing, at the First Judicial District Courthouse in Santa Fe, N.M., that giving Ms. Gutierrez-Reed less than the full sentence would be a “pass” that she did not deserve, citing the jail calls as evidence of a lack of remorse.

“You were the armorer, the one that stood between a safe weapon and a weapon that could kill someone,” the judge said. “You alone turned a safe weapon into a lethal weapon. But for you, Ms. Hutchins would be alive, a husband would have his partner and a little boy would have his mother.”

Before the sentence was announced, Ms. Gutierrez-Reed, 26, pleaded for leniency, saying that when she took the “Rust” job she was “young and I was naïve, but I took my job as seriously as I knew how to.”

“Despite not having proper time, resources and staffing when things got tough I just did my best to handle it,” Ms. Gutierrez-Reed said in court, reading from a statement, her wrists shackled. “The jury has found me in part at fault for this God-awful tragedy but that doesn’t make me a monster, that makes me human.”

Ms. Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers have said that they will appeal her conviction and argued for leniency at the sentencing hearing, saying that the defendant had deep sadness over Ms. Hutchins’s death. They said that the overwhelming public attention on the case meant she had to endure “collateral consequences far harsher than most defendants ever must face,” citing the deluge of press coverage and death threats she has received.

The defense argued throughout the trial that Ms. Gutierrez-Reed was being scapegoated for a tragedy that occurred because the production did not afford her enough time to focus on weapons, something that several producers denied throughout the trial.

In court papers, prosecutors detailed jail calls in which Ms. Gutierrez-Reed contended that she “didn’t need to be shaking the dummies all the time,” referring to a safety measure in which weapons specialists shake inert cartridges, called dummy rounds, to hear a rattle inside, which indicates that the round cannot fire from the gun. On the day of the shooting, Ms. Gutierrez-Reed was supposed to have loaded six dummy rounds in Mr. Baldwin’s revolver, but one ended up being live.

“Every time a gun was loaded with ‘dummy’ rounds, it was a game of Russian roulette,” the lead prosecutor, Kari T. Morrissey, wrote in a court filing ahead of the sentencing.

Announcement

In a separate call, prosecutors said, Ms. Gutierrez-Reed said she was trying to get her lawyer’s paralegal to reach out to Ms. Hutchins’s family about speaking on her behalf at the sentencing hearing. She also said she wants prosecutors to “put Alec Baldwin in jail.”

“It was my sincere hope during this process that there would be some moment when Ms. Gutierrez took responsibility, expressed some level of remorse that was genuine, and that moment has never come,” Ms. Morrissey said during the hearing.

Ms. Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers wrote in court papers that those jail calls, which they characterized as displaying “frustration at the system,” did not detract from her “heartbreak and extreme sadness over what occurred on the ‘Rust’ set.”

At the sentencing hearing, Ms. Gutierrez-Reed’s stepfather, Thell Reed, a prominent Hollywood armorer who she said had taught her how to do the job, gave testimony on her behalf, telling the judge that it would be unjust to give her prison time because others were in part responsible for the tragedy.

The armorer’s conviction was the first time anyone had been held criminally responsible at a jury trial for the death of Ms. Hutchins.

The focus of prosecutors has now largely shifted to Mr. Baldwin, who was indicted this year on an involuntary manslaughter charge. Prosecutors have accused him of negligently failing to make sure the gun he was handed that day was not loaded with live ammunition. He has vehemently denied responsibility, saying that he had been told the gun did not contain live ammunition and that he should be able to rely on professionals on set who were hired to oversee guns and safety.

During Ms. Gutierrez-Reed’s two-week trial, prosecutors said she should be held criminally responsible for Ms. Hutchins’s death because of a series of serious safety violations that they argued had primed the production for disaster. They accused her of bringing live rounds onto the set, of not properly checking the ammunition that she loaded into guns and gun belts, and of standing by as members of the production, including one of the stunt performers, handled weapons against safety protocols.

In a separate case, Ms. Gutierrez-Reed is facing a charge of unlawful carrying of a firearm in a licensed liquor establishment. Prosecutors say that a video on her phone they discovered during the manslaughter case shows Ms. Gutierrez-Reed sneaking a pistol into a bar in New Mexico. She has pleaded not guilty.

Before the judge handed down the armorer’s sentence, she heard testimony from family members, friends and colleagues of Ms. Hutchins who talked about her ambition and vision as a cinematographer and her dedication as a mother, with one friend, Jen White, telling the judge, “I feel like she has gotten lost in the swarm of all the finger-pointing and blame in the aftermath of this completely preventable tragedy.”

Joel Souza, the director of “Rust,” who was injured when the bullet passed through Ms. Hutchins and hit him, testified that Ms. Hutchins, who would have turned 45 years old last week, “not only had an incredible talent for her art, but she had a talent for life.”

And Emilia Mendieta, a friend and cinematographer, recalled Ms. Hutchins’s excitement to begin filming a western, recounting a phone call shortly before “Rust” began in which she explained that the movie “has horses and gunfights and we’re shooting out in the desert” and that “it’s a huge steppingstone” in her career.

Announcement

“I often think about that moment,” Ms. Mendieta said. “Her excitement, her joy at embarking on this new adventure.”



Source link

Announcement

What do you think?

Written by Politixia

Announcement
Announcement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Announcement
Who Is Robert Lee Williams II?

Who Is Robert Lee Williams II?

By rejecting the Enlightenment legacy, woke thinking plays into the hands of anti-democratic forces

By rejecting the Enlightenment legacy, woke thinking plays into the hands of anti-democratic forces