the gunsmith sentenced to 18 months in prison

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed had loaded the gun Alec Baldwin was rehearsing with in October 2021, when filming turned into drama on a ranch.


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Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film's former gunsmith "Rust"arrives to hear the sentence at the court in Santa Fe, New Mexico, April 15, 2024. (EDDIE MOORE / JOURNAL / AFP)

The bullet killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. The gunsmith from the western film Rust, produced by Alec Baldwin, was sentenced, Monday, April 15, to 18 months of imprisonment by the American justice system. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed had loaded the revolver with which Alec Baldwin was rehearsing in October 2021, when filming turned into drama on a ranch in New Mexico. She was found guilty of manslaughter on March 7.

His sentence corresponds to the maximum requested by the prosecution. The armorer did not express “neither responsibility nor remorse” during the trial, prosecutor Kari Morrissey insisted on Monday. According to the prosecution, she described the jurors as“idiots” and D’“retarded”, in his prison appeals since the verdict in March. But on Monday she expressed her compassion for the victim’s family. “The jury found that I was partly responsible for this terrible tragedy, but that does not make me a monster,” the armorer blurted out in tears.

“A game of Russian roulette”

During Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s trial, the prosecution criticized the gunsmith’s amateurism and inexperience: her extreme negligence led to “constant and endless security failures” on the set. “If it does not check the dummy ammunition (…) to ensure that they are indeed blank bullets, (…) it is a game of Russian roulette that is engaged every time that an actor carries a weapon”summarized the accusation.

While her defense presented her as a “scapegoat” for a production which neglected security for financial reasons. The young woman had no way of knowing that live ammunition had infiltrated the set and believed that production had only obtained blank bullets, according to her lawyer Jason Bowles.

Another trial for Alec Baldwin

Star and producer of the film, Alec Baldwin is also charged with manslaughter. He also faces 18 months in prison, but is due to be tried separately in July. The actor’s lawyers are currently trying to have his criminal trial overturned, by raising nullities.

But the prosecution demands that it be maintained, in a detailed response which places a heavy burden on the 66-year-old actor. The prosecutors criticize the attitude of the actor, who “screamed regularly” on everyone and wanted to finish the film faster. An FBI expertise, contested by his defense, concluded that the pistol held by the actor could not have fired without pulling the trigger.

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