Was ‘Rust’ armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed hungover loading a gun or the scapegoat for Alec Baldwin?
Prosecution says actor may get charged again if the firearm did not malfunction
Prosecutors investigating Alec Baldwin's shooting and killing his cinematographer allege that the armorer was hungover when she loaded a live round in the gun. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is accused of “drinking heavily and smoking marijuana in the evenings” during the shooting of the movie “Rust.”
Her lawyer told me that the prosecutors’ case is so weak that they are “resorting to character assassination” in an attempt to find a “convenient scapegoat.”
As I wrote in April, Baldwin seemed to get off scot-free when the state dismissed the two counts against him for involuntary manslaughter for killing Halyna Hutchins.
However, the new special prosecutors now say that they will decide in the next 60 days whether to charge Baldwin if they determine “that the gun did not malfunction.”
In a 25-page document filed in New Mexico court, the prosecution pushed back against the armorer’s request to dismiss the charges. The filing says that they have witnesses who will testify that Gutierrez-Reed was “hung over when she inserted a live bullet into a gun that she knew was going to be used at some point by an actor.”
That actor— Baldwin— did not check the gun to see if it was loaded, pointed it at Hutchins during a rehearsal, pulled back the hammer and then pulled the trigger. Guiterrez-Reed loaded the gun and gave it to the assistant director who gave it to Baldwin on set.
Still, prosecutors assert that she is being appropriately prosecuted:
All Defendant Gutierrez needed to do was shake every bullet and make sure it rattled before putting it in the gun – she failed and killed someone.
It’s against federal law for a drug user to possess a firearm.
I asked her lawyer Jason Bowles about the state’s charges. He said the prosecutors are “way off base,” and that they intend to reply in court.
As for the allegations that she was hungover when she loaded the gun, Bowles said:
The prosecution has so mishandled this case and the case is so weak that they are now resorting to character assassination tactics to further taint the jury pool.
The lawyer said that the investigation and prosecution have not been about “seeking justice” but rather “finding a convenient scapegoat.”
Baldwin to blame?
Baldwin’s lawyers got the charges dropped because supposedly the Colt .45 had a new trigger that somehow affected his shooting it. Prosecutors wrote that Baldwin’s lawyers presented “serious issues concerning the evidence which warranted further investigation.”
The firearm is now undergoing further testing by the state’s independent expert.
Also, the prosecutors explained how the FBI damaged the gun’s sear during its forensic investigation (I shared it here) but that it does not affect the case.
Source of the live round?
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