‘Rust’ Armorer Hanna Gutierrez-Reed Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for shooting

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The “Rust” armorer who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the deadly shooting of Halyna Hutchins has been sentenced.

The film’s cinematographer death was one that shocked many after the headlines rocked the nation. Hanna Gutierrez-Reed received the maximum penalty for her part in the 2021 tragedy that several experts have since characterized as a preventable incident. In court, the woman was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.

Actor Alec Baldwin had discharged live rounds from a prop gun on set of the movie during a rehearsal killing the cinematographer.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer handed down the sentence to conclude an emotionally charged hearing Monday.

“I find what you did constitutes a serious violent offense,” Sommer told Gutierrez-Reed. Although the prosecution pushed for this outcome, Gutierrez-Reed and her defense team had asked the judge to consider probation as an alternative.

The defendant raised that request herself in a statement read in court before the sentence came down.

In the statement, she called Hutchins an inspiration and said she was saddened by the media coverage of her case and the negative light in which it painted her to the public.


“Your honor, when I took on ‘Rust,’ I was young and naive. But I took my job as seriously as I knew how to,” said Gutierrez-Reed. “I beg you, please, don’t give me more time. The jury has found me in part at fault for this horrible tragedy, but that doesn’t make me a monster. That makes me human.” 

The prosecution cited Gutierrez-Reed’s lack of contrition during the trial as one reason to impose the maximum sentence.

Yet, attorney Jason Bowles said in his final remarks at the end of the sentencing that his client had in fact cried, broken down, experienced “mental breakdowns” and “said ‘if only’ many, many, many times,” with that side of her remaining largely unfamiliar to people following the case.

Craig Mizrahi, Hutchins’ former agent, and several of her friends gave statements on the impact of her death.

“What I want is simply not possible. What I want is, everyone is OK and lives aren’t destroyed,” said Souza, who spoke mainly about the loss suffered by Hutchins’ husband, their son, and the rest of her family.

“One moment the world made sense, and the next moment, it didn’t. It still doesn’t, and I don’t know if it ever will again,” he told the courtroom through a virtual call. “Those of us who were lucky enough to have shared in her [Hutchins’] fleeting time on this planet are better for it.”


Hutchins’ close friend and former classmates Mizrahi and Emilia Mendieta, each shared personal anecdotes about the cinematographer, who has been described frequently since her death as a talented “rising star” approaching a major break in her career when she died.

“The circumstances surrounding the disaster force us to ask so many questions, with one in particular above all: How could this have happened?” Mizrahi said. He suggested broad failures by Gutierrez-Reed as well as “Rust” leadership caused the shooting.

“When the producers hired someone with virtually no experience to not only be the armorer but also the assistant prop master, two very challenging positions, they made a crucial decision to put the safety of the cast and crew on the back burner,” he said. “As for Ms. Gutierrez-Reed, it’s my opinion that she should not have held either position, much less both, but that once accepted, the responsibility should have been taken more seriously. Sadly it wasn’t, and we all know the result.”

Mendieta similarly called Hutchins’ death “the result of a massive system failure.” She said holding Gutierrez-Reed accountable would serve as an industry-wide reminder “that actions taken to compromise the safety of the workplace, even if unintentional, have consequences.”

“It all boils down to a very simple question: Why was there a live bullet on set?” Mendieta said. “A live bullet should never had made its way onto the set, let alone the gun, full stop. And that is where Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, as the armorer on ‘Rust,’ failed Halyna.”

Attorney Gloria Allred read a statement at the hearing written by Hutchins’ mother, Olga, who gave spoken remarks herself in a video recorded in Ukraine.

“It’s the hardest thing to lose a child,” Hutchins’ mother said. “And time does not heal. It is two and a half years past, and it gets worse and worse.”

Authorities took Gutierrez-Reed into custody once the verdicts were read. Her defense blamed the film’s management for the shooting, arguing that serious safety issues existed on the “Rust” set that were outside of her purview. Her defense attorneys zeroed in on the fact that the movie’s primary ammunition supplier had apparently not been investigated.

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