May 23, 2024

Prosecutors in New Mexico need extra accountability for the 2021 dying of a cinematographer who was fatally shot by actor Alec Baldwin throughout a rehearsal for the Western movie “Rust.”

Earlier than Baldwin’s case progresses, the armorer on the set will likely be tried on expenses of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with proof. Jury choice in Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s trial begins Wednesday in Santa Fe.

Gutierrez-Reed has pleaded not responsible to the costs and maintains she’s not on to blame for Halyna Hutchins’ dying. Baldwin additionally has pleaded not responsible to an involuntary manslaughter cost in a separate case.

Prosecutors say they’re going to current proof that Gutierrez-Reed loaded a dwell spherical into the gun that killed Hutchins after unknowingly bringing dwell ammunition onto a set the place it was expressly prohibited. They contend the armorer missed a number of alternatives to make sure security on the film set.

The proof and testimony has implications for Baldwin, who was pointing a gun at Hutchins throughout an October 2021 rehearsal exterior Santa Fe when the gun went off, killing her and wounding director Joel Souza.

Gutierrez-Reed faces as much as 18 months in jail and a $5,000 nice if convicted of involuntary manslaughter. The proof tampering cost stems from accusations she handed a small bag of attainable narcotics to a different crew member after the capturing to keep away from detection by legislation enforcement.

Her attorneys say that cost is prosecutors’ try and smear Gutierrez-Reed’s character. The bag was thrown away with out testing the contents, protection attorneys stated.

Greater than 40 individuals are listed as witnesses through the trial that is scheduled to run by March 6.

Particular prosecutors say they may current “substantial proof” that Gutierrez-Reed unwittingly introduced dwell rounds onto the set. Additionally they argued in court docket filings that Hutchins died due to a sequence of negligent acts by Gutierrez-Reed, and say that she ought to have observed dwell rounds and intervened lengthy earlier than the capturing.

Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys say she’s unfairly been scapegoated. They contend dwell rounds arrived on set from an Albuquerque-based provider of dummy rounds. Additionally they pointed to a broader “environment” of security failures that had been uncovered throughout an investigation by state office security inspectors that transcend Gutierrez-Reed.

Moreover, Gutierrez-Reed is accused in one other case of carrying a gun right into a bar in downtown Santa Fe in violation of state legislation. Her attorneys say that cost has been used to attempt to strain Gutierrez-Reed right into a false confession concerning the dealing with of dwell ammunition on the “Rust” set.

The corporate Rust Film Productions paid a $100,000 nice to the state following a scathing narrative of security failures in violation of normal trade protocols. The report included testimony that manufacturing managers took restricted or no motion to handle two misfires on set earlier than Hutchins was shot.

Prosecutors urged a decide to maintain regulators’ conclusions out of the trial as a result of these is likely to be used to argue that “Rust” administration was chargeable for security failures, not Gutierrez-Reed.

The decide within the case sided final week with Gutierrez-Reed. The report says the manufacturing firm didn’t develop a course of for making certain dwell rounds had been evaded the set and that it failed to present the armorer sufficient time to completely stock ammunition.

Baldwin, the lead actor and a co-producer on “Rust,” was indicted in January on an involuntary manslaughter cost. Baldwin has stated he pulled again the gun’s hammer — however not the set off — and the weapon fired.

The cost in opposition to Baldwin gives two various requirements for prosecution, one based mostly on the negligent use of a firearm and one other tied to negligence with out due warning or “circumspection,” additionally outlined as “whole disregard or indifference for the security of others.” Authorized specialists say the latter customary might broaden the investigation past Baldwin’s dealing with of the gun.

A trial date hasn’t been set for Baldwin.


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