‘Rust’ Armorer Loses Bid To Have Charges Dismissed; Judge Tells Lawyers To “Stay The Course”

A Santa Fe judge today denied Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s request to have the charges against her dismissed over prosecutors’ recent statements to the media.

In a virtual hearing, defense attorneys claimed that there were structural and jurisdictional problems with the state’s comments about Gutierrez-Reed allegedly trying to hide cocaine from investigators and likely being “hung over” on the day of the on-set shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021. The lawyers argued that those comments could taint potential jurors in the case.

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New Mexico District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer, however, said the defense did not show “actual and substantial prejudice” to warrant dismissal of the charges against the armorer. “This is at the preliminary stage,” Marlowe Sommer said. “For you to say you’ve basically tainted a jury — we’re not even there yet.”

She told attorneys on both sides to “stay the course” on the charges.

Gutierrez-Reed and Rust producer-star Alec Baldwin — who was pointing a gun when it discharged, killing Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza — were charged in late January with two counts of second-degree involuntary manslaughter. The charges against Baldwin were dropped in April, but prosecutors added an evidence-tampering charge against Gutierrez-Reed two months later, saying she “did transfer narcotics to another person with the intent to prevent the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of herself.”

Gutierrez-Reed’s next hearing is set for August 9.

In filing their motion to dismiss in May (read it here), defense attorneys Jason Bowles and Todd Bullion said: “Because this prosecution was motivated by personal interests — not the facts or the law — it was shaped with the goal of prevailing in the court of public opinion, not a jury trial. As a result, corners were cut and the prosecution team committed other due process and ethical violations.”

The involuntary manslaughter and evidence-tampering charges against Gutierrez-Reed both are fourth-degree felonies that carry a maximum of 18 months to three years behind bars and about $5,000 in fines.

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