'Rust' Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Suffers Legal Setback

A New Mexico judge has denied Gutierrez-Reed's motion to have the case against her dismissed.

Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed has suffered a big legal setback in the court case against her. Gutierrez-Reed's lawyers recently attempted to have the charges against her dropped. However, the judge in the case disagreed with their argument and denied the request, per Deadline.

The motion was filed due to claims from prosecutors that Gutierrez-Reed was beloved to be hungover while working on the Rust set the day cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot. In October 2021, Hutchins was killed after a prop gun that actor Alec Baldwin was holding discharged. The gun was initially not believed to be loaded with live rounds. The New York Post previously reported that Gutierrez-Reed's lawyers filed a motion for the court to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charge she is facing in Hutchins's death.

In response to the motion filed by Gutierrez-Reed's attorneys, the prosecution stated that they have witness testimony that indicates that the armorer had been drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana during the evenings after working on the Rust set. They allege that it is possible she was hungover the day a live bullet was loaded into the gun that killed Hutchins, and that it's most plausible Gutierrez-Reed was the one to have handled the weapon. For this reason, they did not believe the charges should be dropped.

This led to Gutierrez-Reed's legal team filing a dismissal request, arguing that the prosecutor's comments could taint the jury pool. New Mexico District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer reviewed the motion, but ultimately decided that the defense did not show "actual and substantial prejudice" to merit a dismissal of the charges against Gutierrez-Reed. "This is at the preliminary stage," Marlowe Sommer stated. "For you to say you've basically tainted a jury — we're not even there yet."

The new case update comes months after it was revealed that special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis — who were appointed to Baldwin's case by New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies — confirmed that involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin would be dropped. The pair noted that "new facts" have surfaced which impacted their decision regarding the charges that Baldwin was facing. "Consequently, we cannot proceed under the current time constraints and on the facts and evidence turned over by law enforcement in its existing form. We therefore will be dismissing the involuntary manslaughter charges against Mr. Baldwin to conduct further investigation," the prosecutors said in a statement.