Rust Armorer Sentenced to 18 Months for Involuntary Manslaughter

3 minute read
Updated: | Originally published:

Rust film armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was sentenced to the maximum penalty of 18 months in prison Monday afternoon in New Mexico after the fatal on-set shooting of Halyna Hutchins nearly three years ago. She could also face a $5,000 fine.

Gutierrez-Reed, 27, who was responsible for handling and storing the firearms on set, was convicted on March 6 of involuntary manslaughter. She was the first person to stand trial and be convicted in the case; actor Alec Baldwin will stand trial this summer. 

“Someone died,” juror Alberto Sanchez said in early March after the sentencing. “You gotta take responsibility. Especially when you’re handling weapons and you’re in charge of those. That’s your job.” The director of the film, Joel Souza, was also wounded in the shooting. 

A live bullet was put into the pistol on set, instead of the dummy rounds that were supposed to go in the revolver. “She could have paused work, stopped, and cleared it all up, and just never did,” Sanchez said. “That was her job to check those rounds — those firearms. No one wanted to pay attention or do that sort of stuff and stop work.”

Gutierrez-Reed was found not guilty of a separate charge of tampering with evidence.

During the trial, prosecutors said that she continually violated safety protocols, which led to Hutchins’ death.

On Monday, Gutierrez-Reed said that her “heart aches for Hutchins and her friends and family” while asking for probation. “I beg you, please don’t give me more time.” Gutierrez-Reed’s defense attorney Jason Bowles told CNN that they plan to appeal the decision.

New Mexico special prosecutor Kari T. Morrisey said that she had reviewed Gutierrez-Reed’s phone calls from jail to decide her sentence, adding that the defendant did not take responsibility for her role in Hutchins’ death. "Your attorney had to tell the court you were remorseful," the judge said at the sentencing hearing. “You were the armorer who stood between a safe weapon and a weapon that could kill someone. [But] for you, she would be alive.”

Other members of the film set, including Baldwin, are also facing charges. Baldwin, who has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, was pointing the gun at Hutchins during rehearsal for the film. Baldwin has maintained that he didn’t pull the trigger on the gun and that the weapon was said to have no live ammunition, according to NBC News. He pleaded not guilty to the charge on Jan. 31 but could face up to 18 months in prison if convicted. Jury selection for Baldwin’s trial is due to start on July 9.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at