Attorneys file motion to dismiss case against 'Rust' armorer

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

May 18, 2023, 5:58 PM

Attorneys for "Rust" armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed filed a motion Thursday to dismiss her case in the fatal on-set shooting of the film's cinematographer.

Gutierrez-Reed was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of Halyna Hutchins, 42, on the New Mexico set of the Western in October 2021.

"Rust" armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed poses in an undated selfie.
Courtesy Thell Reed

Actor Alec Baldwin was practicing a cross-draw when the gun fired, striking the cinematographer and director Joel Souza, who suffered a non-life-threatening injury.

Baldwin also faced two counts of involuntary manslaughter over the shooting death, though the charges were dropped last month.

Gun enhancement charges filed in the case against both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed were also dropped in late February.

Gutierrez-Reed's preliminary hearing was pushed back to the week of Aug. 9. It had initially been scheduled to start earlier this month, though both state and defense attorneys asked for more time.

This aerial photo shows the movie set of "Rust" at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., on Oct. 23, 2021.
Jae C. Hong/AP, FILE

After prosecutors dropped involuntary manslaughter against Baldwin, Gutierrez-Reed's attorneys said in a statement that they "fully expect at the end of this process that Hannah will also be exonerated."

Her attorneys have said she intends to plead not guilty and that she has no idea how live rounds ended up in the gun.

Since charges were initially filed earlier this year, state Rep. Andrea Reeb stepped down as special prosecutor in the case and Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies stepped away from prosecuting the case.

In their place, the district attorney appointed Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis to serve as special prosecutors.

In dismissing the involuntary manslaughter against Baldwin, Morrissey and Lewis said "new facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis in the case."

"This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled. Our follow-up investigation will remain active and ongoing," they said at the time.

David Halls, the first assistant director for the film, was sentenced in March to six months unsupervised probation as part of a plea deal. Halls, who handed the Colt .45 revolver to Baldwin prior to the shooting, was charged with negligent use of a deadly weapon.

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