Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s bid for a new shooting trial denied

New Mexico judge said Gutierrez-Reed’s sentencing will go ahead as planned in April

Ariana Baio
Friday 29 March 2024 17:28 GMT
Related video: Rust armourer immediately remanded in custody for involuntary manslaughter

A New Mexico judge has denied Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s motion for a new trial and motion for release, saying that Gutierrez-Reed’s planned sentencing for 15 April will go forward.

On Friday, Gutierrez-Reed appeared before District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer via teleconference from the county jail where she is being held to make her plea in the hopes of obtaining a new trial.

Gutierrez-Reed was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in connection to the 2021 shooting on the Rust set that led to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Dressed in a beige jumpsuit, Gutierrez-Reed remained straight-faced as her attorney, Jason Bowles, argued to the judge that there had been a mistake in the jury instructions thus warranting a new trial.

The prosecutor for New Mexico disagreed and criticised Mr Bowles for submitting a vague and short motion for a new trial.

Ultimately Judge Sommer agreed with the state, denying Gutierrez-Reed’s emergency motion for a new trial.

Later, when Mr Bowles asked the judge to consider releasing Gutierrez-Reed so she could care for her ill father, Judge Sommer denied the motion.

“Keep in mind, there was a death that the jury determined was caused by her, so I’m not releasing her,” Judge Sommer said.

Gutierrez-Reed will appear back in court next month for her sentencing. She faces a maximum of 18 months in prison.

Nearly two and a half years ago, Gutierrez-Reed was working on the set of Rust as the weapons supervisor when filming resulted in a tragic loss.

Alec Baldwin, who is starring in the Western film, pulled a Colt 45 replica from his holster while practising for a scene when it went off. A bullet struck Hutchins in the chest and struck director Joel Souza in the stomach. Hutchins died from her injuries.

Gutierrez-Reed was charged with involuntary manslaughter in January 2023 and went to trial earlier this month.

Prosecutors argued Gutierrez-Reed unknowingly brought live ammunition on the set and failed to conduct standard gun safety checks and follow protocol, leading to the fatal shooting.

Moment Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed immediately sent to jail for involuntary manslaughter (Pool via AP)

Mr Bowles’s argument on Friday hinged largely on a theory that the jury should have been asked to unanimously decide if Gutierrez-Reed was guilty of involuntary manslaughter because of the use of “and / or” in the jury instruction.

The argument emerged from a recent New Mexico case.

But Judge Sommer did not agree it applied to Gutierrez-Reed’s case.

In the final moments of the brief hearing, Gutierrez-Reed appeared disappointed. Her back sank into the chair she was sitting on before the video conference ended.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in