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'Rust' Armorer Seeks Dismissal, Citing Prosecutor Misconduct

Lawyers for the gun-handler on the set of “Rust” asked for involuntary manslaughter charges to be dismissed, accusing prosecutors of misconduct while investigating the fatal shooting of the film’s cinematographer.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers said in a court filing Thursday that New Mexico prosecutors made several missteps, including appointing a special prosecutor who had a conflict of interest, bringing charges that had to be downgraded, mishandling evidence and discussing the case in national media, reports the Wall Street Journal. "The prosecutorial misconduct in this case began at inception and has infected this prosecution at every turn,” the lawyers said.

The shooting occurred in Oct. 2021 on the set of the Western outside Santa Fe. In preparations for a scene, the movie’s star, Alec Baldwin, held a gun that fired a live round, killing 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins. The film’s director, Joel Souza, was wounded. Last month, prosecutors dropped involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin, after evidence emerged that the gun could have fired without the actor pulling the trigger. Baldwin has said that he didn’t pull the trigger and that he didn’t know there was a live round in the gun. Gutierrez-Reed was also charged as the armorer in charge of weapons on the “Rust” set. Investigators have said that she neglected her gun-safety duties on set, including failing to check rounds being loaded into firearms and not ensuring Baldwin had the proper safety training. Her lawyers have said she didn’t commit involuntary manslaughter, and the charges are based on a flawed investigation.


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