“Rust” Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Faces 18 Months Imprisonment for 2021 Film Set Shooting

The armorer for the movie “Rust,” Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison by a New Mexico state court for her role in the fatal shooting of the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. Last month, Gutierrez-Reed was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, a crime for which she has received the maximum punishment.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer pronounced the sentence following a highly emotional court hearing on Monday.

“Your actions constitute a serious violent offense,” Judge Sommer stated in court. While the prosecution sought the maximum penalty, Gutierrez-Reed and her defense team had requested probation. The 27-year-old defendant personally made this plea in a statement read to the court before the sentencing. In her statement, she referred to Hutchins as an inspiration and expressed her distress over the media’s portrayal of her case.

“I was young and naive when I took on ‘Rust,’ but I was dedicated to my job,” Gutierrez-Reed said. “Please, do not give me more time. The jury has found me partially responsible for this tragedy, but that does not make me a monster. It makes me human.”

The prosecution highlighted Gutierrez-Reed’s perceived lack of remorse during the trial as a reason for the maximum sentence. However, her attorney, Jason Bowles, argued in his closing remarks that his client had shown deep sorrow and remorse, which was not widely recognized by the public.

The sentencing hearing for Gutierrez-Reed commenced at 10:30 a.m. in Santa Fe. As statements were made by Joel Souza, the injured writer and director of “Rust,” Craig Mizrahi, Hutchins’ former agent, and friends of the cinematographer, she appeared to be tearful in court. They spoke about the profound impact of Hutchins’ death.

Souza, reflecting on the loss experienced by Hutchins’ family, said, “What I want is impossible. I want everyone to be okay, and for lives not to be destroyed.” Speaking virtually, he added, “The world made sense one moment, and then it didn’t. I don’t know if it ever will.”

Mizrahi and Emilia Mendieta, a close friend of Hutchins, shared personal memories of the late cinematographer, often described as a “rising star” in her field.

Mizrahi questioned the hiring decisions for the film, saying, “When the producers chose someone with minimal experience for two challenging roles, they compromised the safety of the cast and crew.” He added that the responsibility should have been handled more seriously.

Mendieta echoed this sentiment, calling Hutchins’ death “the result of a massive system failure.” She argued that holding Gutierrez-Reed accountable would serve as a warning to the industry that actions compromising workplace safety have consequences, even if unintentional.

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