Rust armourer jailed after fatal film set shooting of cinematographer

By Ellie Iorizzo, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Weapons armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after loading a gun for US actor Alec Baldwin, which fired and killed a cinematographer on the set of western film Rust.

Gutierrez-Reed was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter following the shooting of 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins in October 2021, at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Baldwin, the lead actor and co-producer of the film, was pointing a gun at Ms Hutchins during a rehearsal when the weapon went off, killing her and wounding director Joel Souza.

Rust incident
Alec Baldwin practising drawing his revolver on the set of the Rust film. Photo: Santa Fe County Sheriff/PA. Photo by Santa Fe County Sheriff

The actor pleaded not guilty after he was re-charged with involuntary manslaughter in January this year, before lawyers filed to dismiss the charge – a motion of which is yet to be decided. He is currently scheduled to face a trial in July.

A jury convicted Gutierrez-Reed in March following a two-week trial, and on Monday she was sentenced to the maximum 18 months of “incarceration at a New Mexico women’s correctional facility”.

“The word remorse, a deep regret coming from a sense of guilt for past wrongs – that is not you,” Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer said in her sentencing remarks.

“I find that what you did constitutes a serious violent offence, it was committed in a physically violent manner. A fatal gunshot done with your recklessness in the face of knowledge that your acts were reasonably likely to result in serious harm.

“You were the armourer, the one that stood between a safe weapon and a weapon that could kill someone. 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.”

Rust incident
Actor Alec Baldwin on the set of the film Rust. Photo: Santa Fe County Sheriff/PA. Photo by Santa Fe County Sheriff

The sentence hearing came two weeks after the judge denied Gutierrez-Reed’s emergency request for a new trial and release from custody, where she was taken after the guilty verdict.

Baldwin was initially charged in January 2023, but those charges were formally dismissed three months later.

Earlier in January 2024, special prosecutors brought the case before a grand jury in Santa Fe after receiving a new analysis of the gun, and Baldwin was re-charged.

The indictment accuses Baldwin of involuntary manslaughter through negligent use of a firearm, and an alternative charge of involuntary manslaughter “without due caution or circumspection”.

Baldwin previously said he pulled back the hammer, but not the trigger, and the gun fired.

Lawyers for Baldwin asked a judge to dismiss the charge, accusing prosecutors of “violating nearly every rule in the book” in acquiring the indictment, while prosecutors claimed the motion to dismiss was “predictable false, misleading, and histrionic misrepresentation of the facts”.

A judge is yet to give a ruling on the motion.

The filming of Rust resumed last year in Montana, under an agreement with the cinematographer’s widower Matthew Hutchins that made him an executive producer.