‘Rust’ Armorer Sentenced To 18 Months Behind Bars For Halyna Hutchins’ Death; “You Alone Turned A Safe Weapon Into A Lethal Weapon,” Judge Says

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was sentenced just now to 18 months behind bars over the October 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the Santa Fe set of the indie Western starring Alec Baldwin.

“You alone turned a safe weapon into a lethal weapon,” said Judge Mary Marlow Sommer in her sentencing Monday after rejecting defense pleas for probation and counseling. “But for you, Ms. Hutchins would be alive, a husband would have his partner and a little boy would have his mother.”

More from Deadline

The sentence in a state prison was the maximum that Gutierrez-Reed could receive under New Mexico law.

Exclaiming that her “heart aches” for what happened on Rust and the death of Hutchins, Gutierrez-Reed earlier called herself “young and naive,” chastised the media for portraying her as a “complete monster” and told the court how she had been overworked and under-resourced on the film.

“I beg you please don’t give me more time,” Gutierrez-Reed pleaded in a brief statement she read out before being sentenced. Both Gutierrez-Reed and her lawyer asked for probation. “The jury has found me in part at fault for this God-awful tragedy but that doesn’t make me a monster,” a tearful Gutierrez-Reed said. “That makes me human.”

Judge Sommer didn’t buy it, quoting calls Gutierrez-Reed made from jail in recent weeks that put the blame for the live round getting in the gun on everyone but herself. “I did not hear you take accountability,” the judge said in her sentencing. “Your attorney had to tell the court you were remorseful,” the judge called out.

After a two-week trial and just two hours of deliberation by the jury, Gutierrez-Reed was convicted of involuntary manslaughter on March 6. She was not found guilty of evidence tampering, which could have increased her potential sentence to almost three years. Shifting gears several times, the defense attempted in the end to portray their client as a patsy for a corner-cutting and safety-neglecting production. Once the jury’s guilty verdict was delivered, Gutierrez-Reed was almost immediately taken into custody by deputies.

Hannah Gutierrez Reed
Hannah Gutierrez Reed

Prosecutors successfully sought to place the blame on Gutierrez-Reed for the live rounds getting into the Colt .45 that star Baldwin was holding in a rehearsal. Directly aimed at Hutchins, that gun fired and killed the cinematographer and wounded director Joel Souza over two and a half years ago. Almost from the day of Hutchins death, Baldwin has insisted that he did not pull the trigger. The FBI and independent forensic analysis say otherwise.

Far from the designer outfits she wore during her trial, today the clearly emotional Gutierrez-Reed was wearing a beige prison outfit having come straight from her short-term stay at the detention facility.

Before the sentencing Monday in what Special Prosecutor Kari Morrissey called an “unprecedented case,” the state told the court it wanted the maximum sentence for Gutierrez-Reed, and for her to designated as a “serious violent offender.” With Gutierrez-Reed and her lawyers sitting close by, Morrissey stated to the court that she hoped the former crew member would have “expressed some level of remorse that was genuine.”

Citing recordings of nearly 200 calls that Gutierrez-Reed made since being incarcerated, Morrissey said the Rust armorer did not take any responsibility for what happened on the repeatedly trouble set. As a filing from prosecutors last week revealed, the calls found 26-year-old Gutierrez-Reed calling the jurors of seven women and five men such things as “retards,” “idiots” and “a**holes.”

Referring to Rust first assistant director David Halls, who made a plea deal with prosecutors and testified at the trial, Gutierrez-Reed is also heard on the calls declaring the industry vet “f*ked” her “to save his own a**.”

In person and virtually, a number of friends and colleagues of Hutchins, including her agent Craig Mizrahi of Innovative Artists, attorney Gloria Allred (who represents Hutchins’ parents and sister in a California civil case), and Rust director Souza, spoke before the court. In one way or another, almost all of them lamented the “completely preventable tragedy” and “systemic failure” that occurred on the low budget Rust from the producers as well as the actions, or lack thereof, of Gutierrez-Reed.

At one point Allred showed the court a video of Hutchins’ mother from war torn Ukraine. Subtitles at the bottom of the video made clear that the grieving Olga Androsovych was outraged that star/producer Baldwin or no one from the production came to her daughter’s funeral at the Hollywood Forever cemetary.

One person who did not mention the Rust producers was Joel Souza, who as well as the director of the film was the co-creator of the movie’s story with Baldwin.

“What I want is simply not possible, I want that none of this ever happened,” Souza said on camera Monday in a short statement from a book-lined room. “One moment the world made sense and the next minute it didn’t,” he went on to state. “I want everyone damaged by Ms. Reed failures that day to find peace,” he concluded, putting emphasis on the loss that Hutchins’ young son, husband and family have suffered.

The sentencing by Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer comes with Baldwin’s trial for involuntary manslaughter set to start on July 9. It also comes just over two weeks after Gutierrez-Reed’s Jason Bowles-led defense team failed in their attempt to get their client out of the Santa Fe County Adult Detention Facility and to get a new trial. “Keep in mind there was a death that the jury determined was caused by her so I’m not releasing her,” said Judge Sommer in a virtual hearing on March 29.

Bowles has said he will appeal the verdict.

Alec Baldwin reaction charges dropped
Alec Baldwin on ‘Rust’ set

Baldwin is facing up to 18 months behind bars if found guilty in his own trial. Since the multiple Emmy winner was recharged in the Rust case back in January, Baldwin’s NYC-based Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan lawyers and Albuquerque firm LeBlanc Law have called the matter “an abuse of the system” and tried to get the case dismissed.

Calling Baldwin’s moves full of “lies and manipulation,” Morrissey added in an April 5 response, “the defendant’s motion to dismiss is a predictably false, misleading, and histrionic misrepresentation of the facts and circumstances of the case.” She also noted that Baldwin was offered a plea deal very similar to the one that David Halls took, but had it rescinded after prosecutors discovered Baldwin was allegedly “actively pressuring material witnesses in the case against him to submit for interviews for his documentary.”

It is unclear if this documentary about Hutchins that the prosecutors are citing is the one that was part of the settlement Baldwin and other Rust producers included in their October 2022 settlement with widower Matthew Hutchins to end his wrongful death lawsuit.

Another part of that settlement was that Matthew Hutchins would become an executive producer on a resurrected Rust film. With Baldwin back as star and producer, and Souza back directing, the movie started filming in Montana at the Yellowstone Film Ranch in late April last year. The completed Rust has been out to buyers for several months, but as of yet appears to have not been picked up.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.