The Rust movie set tragedy, where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins lost her life, has become a never-ending nightmare for all involved. The armorer responsible for the weapons on set, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was already charged with involuntary manslaughter. (deadline.com) Now, special prosecutors have added another count against her: tampering with evidence. (deadline.com)
According to court documents, Gutierrez-Reed allegedly transferred narcotics to another person on the day of the shooting, with the intention of preventing her own apprehension, prosecution, or conviction. (deadline.com) (cbsnews.com) (cbsnews.com) This new charge is a fourth-degree felony and is in addition to the existing involuntary manslaughter charge.
Gutierrez-Reed’s defense team filed a motion to dismiss both charges, citing a letter from the New Mexico District Attorney’s lead investigator, Robert Schilling. The letter raised questions about the conduct of the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office during and after their initial investigation. (api.realfile.rtsclients.com) The defense team has been questioning the handling of the case by the Santa Fe DA and the sheriff’s office and has challenged the case’s credibility.
Alec Baldwin, who was holding the gun when it went off, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza, was also initially charged with involuntary manslaughter. (cbsnews.com) However, special prosecutors dismissed those charges against him in April, saying they needed more time to investigate the case. (cbsnews.com) The charge against Gutierrez-Reed remained, and prosecutors can still refile charges against Baldwin.
The case has become more complicated with allegations that Gutierrez-Reed was drinking heavily and smoking marijuana during the filming of Rust. Prosecutors claim that she was likely hungover on the day of the shooting, leading to a live bullet being loaded into Baldwin’s gun. Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney has called these accusations false and a character assassination.
The Rust movie set tragedy has left everyone involved in a state of shock and grief. The addition of a new charge against Gutierrez-Reed only adds to the complexity and confusion of the case. It is a reminder that the consequences of one mistake can have devastating and long-lasting impacts. Let’s hope that justice is served in this case, and that the film industry takes steps to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.