‘Rust’ Armorer Will Stay in Jail During Appeal

Hannah Gutierez-Reed’s lawyers argued that a new state supreme court decision should free their client but a Santa Fe judge disagreed

A Santa Fe judge decided on Friday that Hannah Gutierez-Reed, the armorer of the beleaguered movie Rust, will stay in jail while her lawyers appeal her involuntary manslaughter conviction. Variety reports that Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer said, “Keep in mind there was a death that the jury determined was caused by her, so I am not releasing her.”

A jury found Gutierez-Reed guilty of involuntary manslaughter on March 6 but was acquitted of tampering with evidence. She was immediately taken into custody.

Prosecutors argued that Gutierez-Reed brought live ammo to the movie set and inadvertently mixed it with blanks; actor Alec Baldwin allegedly fired a gun with a live round in it, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins two years ago. Gutierez-Reed, who faces 18 months in prison, will be sentenced next month.

Baldwin will be the focus of an involuntary manslaughter trial in July. On March 15, the actor’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss his trial. They claimed that prosecutors “publicly dragged” Baldwin for the past two-and-a-half years. “Enough is enough,” they said. “This is an abuse of the system, and an abuse of an innocent person whose rights have been trampled to the extreme.”

Gutierez-Reed’s lawyers asked the judge to release her a week after the conviction, citing a New Mexico Supreme Court ruling — State v. Taylor — in which the court overturned a conviction because the instructions to a jury were too confusing. The confusion in the Taylor case, according to Variety, stemmed from “and/or” language in the instructions.


Some of the language in Gutierez-Reed’s case included “and/or” language. Prosecutors in the case, however, argued that the cases were too different, and the judge agreed. “I am denying your motion,” Marlowe Sommer said. “I do not think that Taylor requires a new trial in this case.”

Gutierez-Reed’s attorneys expect to file a more wide-ranging appeal in the future. Some of their claims, according to Variety, hinge on other instructions given to the jury and an instance where a key witness allegedly saw privileged text messages between attorney and client.


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