Trial to start for ‘Rust’ armorer over deadly on-set shooting

Santa Fe, United States  -  The woman responsible for the guns on the set of the Alec Bald­win movie “Rust,” where a cinema­tographer was shot dead during filming in 2021, will go on trial in the western United States on Wednesday. Hannah Gutierrez has pleaded not guilty to involun­tary manslaughter charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins, who died from her injuries after be­ing hit by a live round fired from a gun Baldwin was holding. The director of the period Western, Joel Souza, was wounded in the incident. A trial in New Mexico is expected to hear how as the film’s armorer, the 26-year-old Gutierrez was tasked with supplying fire­arms and ensuring their safe use on set. Prosecutors are expected to argue she was lackadaisical in her approach, allowing live rounds -- which should never even have been on set -- to be mixed in with blank ammunition. They are also expected to tell the jury how Guti­errez used cocaine and marijuana, and how she was hungover on the morning she loaded the live round into Baldwin’s Colt .45. Gutierrez also faces one charge of tampering with evidence, which relates to her alleged disposal of cocaine after her initial questioning by Santa Fe County Sheriff’s officers. The trial, which begins with jury selection on Wednesday, is expected to last around two weeks. If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Gutier­rez could face a prison sentence of up to 18 months. Her lawyers are expected to argue that Hutchins’ death was the result of a series of errors brought about by intense pressure to finish the film on time and under budget.

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