Prosecutors in the “Rust” case are charging the film’s gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed with “probable” hangover when she loaded the gun with the bullet that ultimately killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, something her lawyers have referred to as “character assassination”.
While charges against ‘Rust’ star Alec Baldwin have been dismissed, Gutierrez-Reed remains charged with manslaughter in the ‘Rust’ case. And on Friday, June 9, New Mexico prosecutors responded to his attorney’s motion to dismiss those charges.
The special prosecutors in their answer wrote the motion as “ludicrous,” but also revealed they’ll have testimony that Gutierrez-Reed drank and smoked the night before the “Rust” shooting.
“Witnesses in the present case will testify that defendant Gutierrez drank heavily and smoked marijuana in the evenings during the filming of ‘Rust.’ It is likely that defendant Gutierrez was hungover when he inserted a live bullet into a gun that he knew would be used at one point by an actor while filming a shooting scene with other actors and crew members,” Special Prosecutors Kari T. Morrissey and Jason J. Lewis said, “The felony manslaughter was specifically designed for this type of circumstance. Defendant Gutierrez has a history of reckless conduct that has resulted in the loss of life.” human rights and it is in the public interest that it is eventually held accountable.
In a statement to IndieWire in response, attorney Jason Bowles said, “The prosecution has handled this case so poorly and the case is so weak that they are now resorting to character assassination tactics to further taint the jury pool. This investigation and prosecution was not about seeking justice; for them it was about finding a convenient scapegoat.
Use of marijuana became legal in New Mexico in June 2021 before the “Rust” incident in October 2021, although some employers may ban it.
A preliminary hearing for Gutierrez-Reed is scheduled between August 9 and 16, at which point a judge will determine if there is probable cause for the proceeding against Gutierrez-Reed. Gutierrez-Reed was indicted on January 31.
The Special Prosecutors’ response also mentions that they will make a final decision on whether to bring new charges against Baldwin within the next 60 days. The manslaughter charges brought against him were dropped in April.
The “Rust” case has experienced some upheavals since Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed were first indicted, including both the original special prosecutor and the state district attorney resigning from the case, and with prosecutors having had to review and lower the manslaughter charges brought against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed. Meanwhile, filming on “Rust” resumed April 21 in Montana, with Baldwin returning to the starring role. Gutierrez-Reed was not involved in the resumption of production.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on October 21, 2021 when a gun being held by Baldwin and carrying a live bullet discharged, mortally wounding Hutchins and injuring the film’s director Joel Souza.