Fatal shooting of Alec Baldwin: the gunsmith in the film sentenced to a heavy sentence

The affair shook Hollywood. In October 2021, Alec Baldwin is in Santa Fe, New Mexico, filming Joel Souza’s new film, Rust, for which he is also a producer. For the purposes of a scene, which was to have a ranch as a setting, the actor used a revolver loaded by the set’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. He shoots and fatally wounds Halyna Hutchins, director of photography, the weapon not having been loaded with blanks as planned… The star also hits the director, who survives his injuries. On March 6, the gunsmith was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter by a New Mexico court. This Monday, April 15, his sentence fell, as reported by our colleagues from Parisian : the 27-year-old young woman was sentenced to 18 months in prison, “which is the maximum sentence she faced”.

Since the start of her trial, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed has pleaded not guilty to all charges against her. The prosecution, represented by prosecutor Kari Morrissey, however pointed out its lack of professionalism, its negligence having caused “constant and never-ending security failures” on the tray. According to the latter, the armorer “left weapons unattended all the time.” The young woman would also not have taken the trouble to ensure that each ammunition represented no danger, as the safety rules of the film industry recommend. “If she doesn’t check the dummy ammunition to make sure it’s actually blank bullets, it’s a game of Russian roulette that begins every time an actor carries a gun.” denounced the prosecutor.

© Backgrid USA / BestimageHannah Gutierrez-Reed during her trial

For its part, the gunsmith’s defense argued that she represented the ideal scapegoat in this affair, emphasizing that the production of the film paid little attention to safety rules for financial reasons. Jason Bowles, her lawyer, explained that his client had not had the means to carry out checks of the ammunition and “believed that production had only purchased blank bullets.” Furthermore, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed had other tasks on set, which would have prevented her “to concentrate fully on her role as an armorer”.

Alec Baldwin also faces 18 months in prison

Alec Baldwin is next to stand trial. Indicted on January 19, 2024 for manslaughter, he also risks 18 months in prison and will appear in court next July. A turnaround for the 66-year-old actor, who reached an agreement at the end of 2022 with the family of Halyna Hutchins, in order to put an end to the proceedings initiated against him following her husband’s complaint. Hailey Bieber’s uncle found himself formally charged on October 17, 2023, following an in-depth investigation by prosecutors, who discovered new elements that would demonstrate his guilt. They accuse Kim Basinger’s ex of having “brazenly lied” in his statements in order to exonerate himself, repeatedly changing his version of the facts. As a reminder, Alec Baldwin pleaded not guilty, claiming to have been informed that the weapon was secure. An FBI expertise, however, disputes the actor’s version, concluding that the gun could not fire without pulling the trigger, which the star denies.

Photo credits: Backgrid USA / Bestimage

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