The armorer of the “Rust” production, found guilty of manslaughter in the case of the fatal shootings on the set VIDEO

“Rust” gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed has been found guilty of her role in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on a New Mexico set, The Guardian reports.

Hutchins was fatally shot by Alec Baldwin while the actor was rehearsing a scene for the western. Baldwin, who also co-produced the film, pointed a prop gun at Hutchins during a rehearsal in October 2021, when the gun discharged. Hutchins was seriously injured in the incident, and director Joel Souza was also injured.

A New Mexico jury found Gutierrez-Reed, who was supposed to make sure all firearms on set were safe, guilty of manslaughter. Prosecutors alleged that the weapons handler loaded a fully functional .45 revolver used by Baldwin with blanks and at least one live bullet.

She was careless, careless, thoughtless”prosecutor Kari Morrissey said in closing statements in the trial.

“Amazing lack of attention”

She presented “frequent and endless security failures” on set and said that Gutierrez-Reed showed a “amazing lack of attentione” regarding gun safety.

The woman was also charged with tampering with evidence, but the jury found her not guilty of that count. After the verdict was read, her attorney said Gutierrez-Reed would appeal.

Gutierrez Reed was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Photo YouTube video capture

She, who was immediately apprehended, faces up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. Gutierrez-Reed has pleaded not guilty, and her attorneys have argued that she was a scapegoat in the incident, which they said Baldwin is ultimately responsible for.

Actor Alec Baldwin has been charged with manslaughter and is accused of causing Hutchins' death either through negligence or “gross disregard or indifference” to safety. He has pleaded not guilty and will go on trial in July.

David Halls, the film's assistant director, was sentenced to six months in jail with suspended and unsupervised parole, a $500 fine, 24 hours of community service and a safety course on firearms, on a charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. Halls testified for the defense, talking about Reed's competence as a gunsmith and claiming that he took responsibility for the incident.

Gutierrez-Reed was “negligent” and unprofessional

The prosecution's case focused on how a round of live ammunition ended up on set and in the prop gun – which was a fully functional firearm – wielded by Baldwin. As the film's gunsmith, she was tasked with checking every gun on set and making sure they were free of live ammunition.

Prosecutors argued throughout the trial that Gutierrez-Reed failed to follow key safety procedures and that his work on set was unprofessional and “negligence” – she allegedly left the weapons and ammunition unattended and disorganized.

Real cartridges were found on the set that the woman allegedly brought from home, the prosecution said during the trial.

We believe that it was the acts of negligence and wrongdoing by the defendant, Ms. Gutierrez, that led to both the acts that contributed to Ms. Hutchins' death and the actual bullets being brought onto the setProsecutor Jason Lewis said in his opening statement.

The state also alleged that she consumed marijuana during the filming. Gutierrez-Reed's defense said the prosecution failed to prove she brought live bullets to the set and argued Hutchins' death was the result of Baldwin pointing the gun at the cinematographer.

It was not in the script for Mr. Baldwin to point the gun” said defense attorney Jason Bowles. “She didn't know Mr. Baldwin was going to do what he did“.

Ms. Gutierrez did not point that gun“, he added.

Safety was secondary

Dozens of witnesses were heard during the two-week trial, including emotional testimony from the team who described a chaotic scene where safety was “secondary“.

Crew member Ross Addiego told the jury that during production work was done on “ridiculous speeds” and described Gutierrez-Reed as less professional than other gunsmiths he worked with. He also said firearms were left unattended.

“Two people were injured on a film set. This has not only affected me, but also the film industry”he said.

Souza testified and spoke about the chaotic aftermath of the incident. Gutierrez-Reed apologized to him, the director testified. What's more, he continued to disbelieve what happened on set – insisting to medical staff that it couldn't have been a real bullet in the gun.

“I kept saying, 'You don't understand.'“, he said. “No, no, no, no – this was a film set. Such a thing is not possible.”

Gutierrez-Reed did not testify during the trial, but in cross-examination during the trial, she said she was shocked by the presence of live bullets at the set and insisted she checked the gun before it reached Baldwin.

I wish I had checked it out moreGutierrez-Reed said in an October 2021 interview.

The proceedings could have major implications for Baldwin. Witnesses at Gutierrez-Reed's trial included two firearms experts whose testimony cast doubt on Baldwin's account of the shootings and his claim that the gun malfunctioned.