On October 21, 2021, “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed when she was struck by a bullet from a gun held by actor Alec Baldwin. The charges have been dismissed against Baldwin with prejudice, so the actor may still face charges.
Gutierrez-Reed was later faced with the additional charge of tampering with evidence after prosecutors claim that a witness came forward to allege that she had transferred a bag of cocaine to another person on the day of the shooting, thus hampering the police investigation.
‘Rust’ Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s Trial Delayed From December 2023 To 2024
Earlier this month, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed entered a plea of not guilty and waived her right to a preliminary hearing. The trial, presided over by District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer, was supposed to start jury selection on December 5. The trial was scheduled from December 6 through December 15.
However, on August 21, Deadline reported that the Santa Fe trial had been delayed until February 21, 2024. The reason for the date change was reportedly "scheduling issues" around witnesses. The trial is now scheduled to run until March 6, 2024. Another reason for the delay could be the results of a lawsuit filed against Hannah Gutierrez-Reed from a "Rust" gaffer.
On August 16, Deadline reported that there was an update in the civil lawsuit filed by “Rust” gaffer Serge Svetnoy. A Los Angeles judge agreed with Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys and felt that she should e dropped as a defendant on jurisdictional grounds.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maurice Leiter made a tentative ruling last Tuesday asserting that the “Rust” gaffer had not demonstrated enough proof that the “Rust” armorer would allow a California court to have general or specific jurisdiction over her.
“There is no evidence that [Svetnoy’s] claims arise from [Gutierrez-Reed’s] contacts with California, or from any actions by this defendant in California or directed at California,” Leiter said in his tentative ruling.
Her lawyers maintained that although Gutierrez-Reed occasionally used a friend’s California address as a mailing address, she did not live there. They also provided proof that she only worked a total of nine days in California between 2016 and 2018.
The lawsuit also names Alec Baldwin and several other individuals. Svetnoy maintains that the shooting “was caused by the negligent acts and omissions” of multiple individuals. The lawsuit was filed in November 2021, less than a month after the fatal shooting occurred.
New Forensics Report Concludes That The Trigger Was Pulled In Fatal Shooting
Meanwhile, it is possible that Alec Baldwin may be facing criminal charges again after they were dismissed in April 2023 pending further investigation. Baldwin’s lawyers had argued that the gun was damaged during FBI testing, which made it impossible to tell whether or not the actor had really pulled the trigger.
“Rust” special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis submitted the gun for a new round of testing. Firearm experts Lucien Haag and Mike Haag, who was hired by the State of New Mexico in the case against Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, found that the trigger was pulled “sufficiently” on the prop Colt .45 revolver enough to go off.
“Although Alec Baldwin repeatedly denies pulling the trigger, given the tests, findings, and observations reported here, the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver,” they said in a statement.
“This fatal incident was the consequence of the hammer being manually retracted to its fully rearward and cocked position followed, at some point, by the pull or rearward depression of the trigger,” they added.
In early June, the two special prosecutors warned that the “30 Rock” actor could potentially face criminal charges again and that they would make their decision within sixty days, following the results of additional forensic testing.
“The gun and broken sear have been sent to the state’s independent expert for further testing. The charges against Alec Baldwin were dismissed without prejudice because a possible malfunction of the gun significantly affects causation with regard to Baldwin, not with regard to Gutierrez,” they said in a statement. “If it is determined that the gun did not malfunction, charges against Mr. Baldwin will proceed.”
In August 2022, a forensic report from the FBI also concluded that the “Supercell” actor had to have pulled the trigger on the weapon in order to cause it to fire. According to the FBI’s report, the gun “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger” unless the hammer was “de-cocked on a loaded chamber” and “the hammer was struck directly.”
The "Boss Baby" actor has maintained that he did not pull the trigger several times. In December 2021, the 65-year-old sat down with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News to maintain his innocence. “The trigger wasn’t pulled,” he said at the time. “I didn’t pull the trigger. I would never point a gun at someone and pull the trigger on them, never.”