‘Rust’ Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Found Guilty of Manslaughter in Accidental Shooting Case

Gutierrez-Reed was found not guilty of obstructing justice

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed leaves the New Mexico courtroom
"Rust" armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed appears in court.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the young and inexperienced armorer in charge of the guns and ammunition on the set of “Rust” when Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on Wednesday.

Gutierrez-Reed, 26, was found not guilty of obstructing justice. The jury reached its verdict after just over 2 hours of deliberations.

Following the verdict, Gutierrez-Reed was ordered to be taken into custody and held until sentencing. She now faces up to 18 months in prison.

The criminal trial of Gutierrez-Reed, the daughter of legendary Hollywood armorer and trick-shooter Thell Reed, wrapped Wednesday after less than the two weeks of testimony that were expected. Attorneys questioned several witnesses over nine days, including assistant director David Halls, multiple firearms experts and members of the low-budget western’s crew.

While giving her closing statement, special prosecutor Kari Morrissey flashed “frame after frame” of still images showing blatant safety violations on the “Rust” set, including stunt men pointing muzzles at actors, live rounds mixed in with ammo boxes and bandoliers meant only for “dummy” rounds.

“We end exactly where we began — in pursuit of justice for Halyna Hutchins,” Morrissey told the jury. “This case is about constant, never-ending safety failures that resulted in the death of a human being, and nearly killed another.”

New Mexico’s pursuit of justice for the accidental shooting of the cinematographer stumbled along for two and a half years, beset by delays including a previous prosecutor who tried to charge the defendants with a firearms enhancement that wasn’t yet law when Baldwin shot Hutchins on Oct. 21, 2021.

Throughout the trial, the defense leaned hard into its theory that someone other than Gutierrez-Reed was responsible for the live rounds lurking around the “Rust” set, whether by negligence or some unthinkably risky game of career sabotage.

Defense attorney Jason Bowles grilled ammo dealer Seth Kenney, who supplied the “Rust” set and testified that he had been feuding with the young armorer over reports of sloppy safety. Bowles later pressed Sheriff’s investigator Alexandra Hancock about her 40-plus phone calls with Kenney, suggesting he was trying to “steer” the investigation away from himself and toward Gutierrez-Reed.

The armorer’s attorney also inferred that Kenney should have been considered a “suspect,” but Hancock said there was never any evidence to implicate him. Bowles had suggested for months that Kenney would have had ample time to discard any such evidence, since his business wasn’t searched until several weeks after the deadly accident.

Baldwin is expected to also stand trial later this summer on separate manslaughter charges. Though he was not called to testify, the jury saw eyefuls of Baldwin firing weapons in on-set video and b-roll footage, including moments where the producer and actor can be seen barking orders at his crew to reload and another where he uses a gun as a “pointing stick” to move cast and crew around.


A reverse-chronological timeline of TheWrap’s trial coverage:

Day 9: Wednesday, 3/6: Closing arguments, case goes to jury
Day 8: Monday, 3/4: Ammo dealer Seth Kenney denies supplying live rounds
Day 6, Thursday 2/29: Assistant director David Halls gets emotional
Day 6, Thursdsay 2/29: Gun expert shreds blatant “safety violation” videos
Day 5, Wednesday, 2/28: Gutierrez-Reed interview intros “sabotage” theory
Day 4, Tuesday 2/27: Gun expert says Baldwin’s Colt .45 “working perfectly”
Day 3, Monday, 2/26: Grip testifies about “out of the ordinary” gun handling
Day 2, Friday, 2/23: Production testifies about camera crew walk-off
Day 1, Thursday, 2/22: Opening statements


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