‘Rust’ Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Formally Requests New Trial

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"Rust" armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is seeking a release from jail and a new trial following her guilty verdict.

The rookie armorer, who had only worked on one film before "Rust," was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. It took a jury less than three hours to deliberate.

This trial is separate from the one being faced by actor Alec Baldwin. His criminal trial is scheduled to begin in July.

'Rust' Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Seeks A New Trial Following Guilty Verdict

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed poses for mugshot after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 'Rust' shooting trial
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Earlier this month, "Rust" armorer was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins after prosecutors argued that she was "sloppy" and "unprofessional" on the set of the Western film.

Gutierrez-Reed was, however, acquitted of one charge of tampering with evidence. Prosecutors presented a witness who claimed that Hannah Gutierrez-Reed had given her a bag of white powder on the day that Hutchins was killed. The witness, who described herself as a recovered addict, said that she believed the white powder to be cocaine and subsequently threw it away in a hotel garbage can.

Although the incident took place in October 2021, the witness did not come forward with this information until the summer of 2023. The white substance was never recovered to be tested and was never identified to be cocaine. As such, a jury acquitted her of a charge of tampering with evidence.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Wants A New Trial

Armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed seen after fatal Rust shooting
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At this time, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is currently being held in a Santa Fe County Detention Center while her attorney, Jason Bowles, seeks an appeal. As it stands, a new court filing obtained by Variety shows that the "Rust" armorer is now seeking to get the previous verdict tossed in favor of a new trial.

On Friday, her attorneys asked a juge to release her from jail and to give her a new trial, citing a New Mexico Supreme Court ruling in another case involving two daycare workers.

At this time, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed faces 18 months in prison after being accuser of putting a live bullet into Alec Baldwin's gun on the set of the Western film. She will be sentenced on April 15 if her appeal is rejected.

However, her attorneys Jason Bowles and Monica Barreras feel that a recent New Mexico Supreme Court decision issued on Thursday will "almost certainly" overturn her conviction.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed's Lawyers Argue Jury Instructions Were Unclear

Armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed seen after fatal Rust shooting
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Hannah Gutierrez-Reed's attorneys plan to challenge the instructions that were given to the jury during their deliberations.

The jury was asked to find that the armorer loaded live ammunition into the gun, “and/or” that she failed to properly check the ammunition.

Her attorneys argue that the "and/or" instruction was unclear and allowed a jury to convict her even if they were not unanimous on either point.

'Rust' Armorer's Lawyers Cite Previous Supreme Court Ruling

Armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed seen after fatal Rust shooting
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On Thursday, the state Supreme Court overturned the conviction of two daycare workers due to a similar argument in connection to unclear jury instructions.

In that case, the jury instructions included four separate acts connected by “and/or." Ultimately, the court ruled that the "and/or" conjunction created “confusion and misdirection" and ordered a new trial.

“The term and/or has proved singularly unsuited to formulating clear and effective jury instructions, to the degree that our trial courts would be well served to avoid its use in jury instructions altogether,” the court decided.

In their new court filing, Bowles and Barreras argue that the ruling means that an appeals court is “virtually certain” to order a new trial for the armorer and have asked for her to be released from jail while the appeal is pending.

Alec Baldwin Is Also Trying To Get His 'Rust' Trial Tossed'

Alec Baldwin poses with gun and ammo in newly released Rust rehearsal video
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Actor Alec Baldwin is also trying to get his own "Rust" trial tossed before it officially begins, accusing the prosecutors of trying to rig a potential jury against him by anonymously speaking to the press.

In January 2023, both Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on October 21, 2021.

In April 2023, the charges against Baldwin were dropped pending further investigation. However, after a FBI report concluded that the trigger had to be pulled for the gun to fire, charges were refiled in January 2024. On January 31, the "30 Rock" actor entered a not guilty plea.

His trial is currently scheduled to begin on July 9, 2024.