Rust armourer jailed for 18 months for involuntary manslaughter

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed choked back tears as the sentence was passed
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed wiped away tears as the sentence was passed - Getty Images

Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Monday for the involuntary manslaughter of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on a film set in March 2021.

The 27-year-old had been found guilty for her role in the fatal shooting on a New Mexico film set by a jury in March.

Sentencing her to the maximum jail term requested by prosecutors, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer told her: “You alone turned a safe weapon into a lethal weapon.”

Hutchins, 42, was killed when the gun, which contained live bullets, went off on the set of Rust, a Western starring Alec Baldwin. The director, Joel Souza, was injured.

The court had been told that Gutierrez-Reed mistakenly loaded a live round into a reproduction Colt .45 revolver which Baldwin fired inside a film-set church.

Alec Baldwin is due to go on trial for involuntary manslaughter in July
Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter

Baldwin, who was holding the gun when it went off and fired a live bullet, is due to go on trial for involuntary manslaughter in July. He has pleaded not guilty.

Hutchins’s death was Hollywood’s first on-set fatal shooting in nearly 30 years.

Prosecutors said Gutierrez-Reed repeatedly failed to ensure firearm safety and it was her negligence that led to Hutchins’s death.

Wearing tan prison fatigues, Gutierrez-Reed choked back tears as the sentence was passed.

Pleading for leniency, she told the court: “My heart aches for the Hutchins family and friends and colleagues as well.”

“Your honour, when I took on Rust I was young and I was naive. But I took my job as seriously as I knew how to, despite not having proper time, resources and staffing, I just did my best to handle it.”

Asking the court to impose a maximum sentence, the prosecutor said Gutierrez-Reed had shown no remorse, as had been demonstrated by calls she had made from jail to her mother, boyfriend and legal teams.

At one point she described the jury that had convicted her as “a-holes and idiots”.

Friends and family of Ukrainian-born Hutchins paid an emotional tribute to the cinematographer, who was married with a young son.

Hutchins’s father said in a statement read in court: “Each person responsible… needs to carry the punishment that is equal to their guilt.

“Maybe, just maybe, this might prevent the same type of tragedies in the future to others, and spare other parents from such a heart-wrenching catastrophe.”

Emilia Mendieta, a friend and film school classmate, told the judge: “Someone didn’t do their job right. A lot of someones.”