In January 2023, actor Alec Baldwin and “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were each charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter charges in the October 2021 death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Yesterday, the “30 Rock” actor entered a not guilty plea and did not have to appear before a judge today. However, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed did and was granted the ability to keep firearms at her home by a New Mexico judge.
‘Rust’ Armorer Allowed To Keep Firearms Despite Manslaughter Charges
On Friday, New Mexico Judge Mary Marlow Sommer ruled that the 25-year-old armorer would be allowed to have “a firearm at her residence” as one of the conditions of her release, as per Deadline.
In Friday’s virtual hearing, Reed’s attorney Jason Bowles claimed that the armorer had been receiving death threats after her private information was released by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s office as they began her investigation.
Reed was allegedly the victim of a stalker and had even filed a restraining order in the months after Hutchins’ death. Bowles told Judge Sommer that Reed wanted to keep firearms at home for “self-protection.”
As expected, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies objected to the request, citing “Hannah’s sloppy mishandling of firearms.” Instead, Carmack-Altwies said that Reed could use “pepper spray or a bat” as alternative means of protection.
Judge Sommer sided with Bowles and granted Reed to keep a firearm at her home, noting that the gun could only be used at her residence and nowhere else. In addition, since she is not going to continue working on “Rust,” which resumes filming this spring, Judge Sommer ordered that she have no contact with other potential witnesses, including former “Rust” crew members.
‘Rust’ Armorer Did Not Enter A Plea, Alec Baldwin Pled No Guilty Yesterday
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed did not enter a plea today and it is unclear how long it will be until the next hearing. On Thursday, Alec Baldwin entered a not guilty plea. Both are facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter, which is a fourth-degree felony in the state of New Mexico.
If convicted, they could each spend as long as eighteen months behind bars and pay a $5,000 fine. The firearm enhancement on the second charge could have earned them a mandatory five-year prison sentence if convicted; however, it was removed earlier this week. Baldwin’s legal team argued that the enhancement was “unconstitutional” given that it was only enacted seven months after Hutchins had already passed away.
In legal documents submitted in court on Thursday, Baldwin’s lead lawyer Luke Nikas wrote, “I hereby certify that I have explained to Mr. Baldwin his right to personally appear before the District Court to enter a plea of Not Guilty and to have his rights explained to him by the judge and I am satisfied that Mr. Baldwin understands the waiver of these rights.”
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s Lawyer Claims She Never Inspected The Gun For Bullets
After the charges were first announced on January 19, Reed’s attorney Jason Bowles, released a statement, saying, “Hannah is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident. But she did not commit involuntary manslaughter.”
“These charges are the result of a very flawed investigation, and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts,” Bowles added. “We intend to bring the full truth to light and believe Hannah will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury.”
In early February, Bowles appeared on TMZ Live to discuss the fatal shooting. He claimed that first assistant director David Halls, who pled guilty to the charge of the negligent use of a deadly weapon, was supposed to notify Reed when Alec Baldwin was ready to start filming so she could check the gun before the rehearsal.
Bowles also claimed that Reed had wanted to meet with Baldwin prior to the scene in the church so that she could give him proper instruction on how to handle the gun. However, Bowles says that Halls never actually told Reed when the filming was supposed to begin, and she never had a chance to check Baldwin’s gun.
Additionally, Bowles claims that Hannah was “stretched very thin” on set and had several duties that conflicted with her responsibilities as an armorer, such as handling props. Reed reportedly emailed the production team asking to step back from props to focus on her duties as an armorer. However, her request was denied.