‘Rust’ Armorer Attempted to Dispose Bag of Cocaine After Shooting, Prosecutors Say

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is being charged with evidence tampering in addition to involuntary manslaughter for the death of Halyna Hutchins

Alec Baldwin's role in an on-set death on "Rust" highlighted the issue of crew safety.
Alec Baldwin's role in an on-set death on "Rust" highlighted the issue of crew safety.

Prosecutors in the “Rust” shooting case accuse Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armorer, of handing off a bag of cocaine to another person in an attempt to conceal it from authorities, after Alec Baldwin shot a live bullet that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, according to a Thursday court filing viewed by the Santa Fe New Mexican. 

The new filing specifies cocaine as the drug that Gutierrez-Reed attempted to dispose of, following last week’s charge of evidence tampering brought by prosecutors in the ongoing case. Gutierrez-Reed is also facing an involuntary manslaughter charge, the same accusation initially made against Baldwin, though his charges have been dropped. 

Prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis said a confidential witness will testify that Gutierrez-Reed passed the cocaine off to someone else after being interviewed by the police the night of the shooting.

“The circumstances of the transfer of evidence strongly support the charge that the defendant transferred the cocaine to avoid prosecution and prevent law enforcement from obtaining highly inculpatory evidence directly related to the defendant’s handling of the firearm and the circumstances of the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins,” the prosecutors wrote.

Jason Bowles, Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer, opposed the prosecution’s request to allow the witness to remain anonymous in an attempt to keep them from being “blacklisted” from the film industry. 

“The state wants to publish salacious allegations about Ms. Gutierrez-Reed in a secret procedure, which is not condoned by the rules or constitution,” Bowles said in an email to the Santa Fe New Mexican. “If the state really believes these allegations, why the secrecy?”

Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Gutierrez-Reed is set to make a “first felony appearance” on the tampering charge July 19.