“Rust” Armorer Found Guilty and Gets Minimal Punishment for Her Role in On-set Murder

Lucus Hunt / shutterstock.com
Lucus Hunt / shutterstock.com

The low-budget film “Rust” was loaded with problems from the start. When armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed came on the set, she caused problems from the start. Ignoring standard and basic gun safety protocols, she had live ammunition on set mixed in with blanks. From text messages presented in the case, she was also heavily using drugs the night before that fateful date, another clear violation of basic gun safety rules.

Through her lack of proper precautions, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot dead by actor Alec Baldwin. Firing a pistol, Reed had handed him directly before, Baldwin had trusted her to do her job.

Now, Reed has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Sentenced to just 18 months, New Mexico District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer rejected a request by Reed’s legal team for leniency. “A conditional discharge is not appropriate. The second option — leaving you in the detention center — is giving you a pass you do not deserve … you alone turned a safe weapon into a lethal weapon. But for you, a husband would have his wife, and a little boy would have his mother.”

Given the statement from prosecutor Kari Morrissey, Reed never cared about what happened, and in her mind, she was above culpability. “I wasn’t sure exactly what recommendation would be appropriate in this unprecedented case until last week when I completed the review of Ms. Gutierrez’s jail calls. It was my sincere hope during this process that there would be some moment when Ms. Gutierrez took responsibility and expressed some level of remorse that was genuine. That moment has never come. Ms. Gutierrez continues to refuse to take responsibility for her role in the death of Halyna Hutchins.”

Reed getting only 18 months for her direct role in Hutchins’ death is a slap in the face for the husband and son of Hutchins. With Baldwin still yet to be tried for manslaughter, hopefully, they will get some additional justice there. However, given his liberal mindset, and his horrific track record for accepting culpability, we can expect him to get a slap on the wrist as well.