Pressure on Alec Baldwin as Rust cinematographer's family speak out after armourer's conviction

7 March 2024, 14:05 | Updated: 7 March 2024, 15:10

The family of the cinematographer shot dead on the set of Rust have called for 'everyone responsible to be held accountable' as Alec Baldwin prepares to stand trial in July
The family of the cinematographer shot dead on the set of Rust have called for 'everyone responsible to be held accountable' as Alec Baldwin prepares to stand trial in July. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

The family of the cinematographer shot dead on the set of Rust have called for 'everyone responsible to be held accountable' as Alec Baldwin prepares to stand trial in July.

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It comes as the weapons armourer who loaded the gun for Baldwin which fired and killed Halyna Hutchins on the film set in October 2021 was on Wednesday convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was found guilty after the two-week trial in Santa Fe, New Mexico, after prosecutors alleged she unknowingly brought live ammunition onto the set.

They said gun safety protocols that might have detected the live rounds had been disregarded.

Ms Hutchins's family has now spoken out following the verdict, calling for "everyone who is responsible for Halyna’s death to be held accountable".

Alec Baldwin practicing a scene with a revolver on the set of the western 'Rust' Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed, released April 26, 2022
Alec Baldwin practicing a scene with a revolver on the set of the western 'Rust' Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed, released April 26, 2022. Picture: Alamy

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Making a statement through their lawyers, the family said: "Today was the first trial and conviction in the criminal justice process.

"We are satisfied that the jury, based on the evidence, found Hannah Gutierrez-Reed guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for her part in the taking of Halyna’s life.

"We look forward to the justice system continuing to make sure that everyone else who is responsible for Halyna's death is required to face the legal consequences for their actions."

Following her conviction, Gutierrez-Reed faces up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 charge.

Gutierrez-Reed's defence lawyers had throughout the trial described her as an easy scapegoat. They said problems on the film set extended beyond her control, including alleging the mishandling of weapons by Baldwin.

Baldwin, 65 - who was the lead actor and co-producer of the film - is now set to stand trial in July after he was re-charged in January.

He was pointing the gun at Ms Hutchins during a rehearsal session for filming when the firearm went off, killing her and wounding the director Joel Souza.

Halyna Hutchins appears on screen during an In Memoriam tribute at the Oscars, March 27, 2022
Halyna Hutchins appears on screen during an In Memoriam tribute at the Oscars, March 27, 2022. Picture: Alamy
'Rust' movie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed stands by her defense team during her involuntary manslaughter trial, Tuesday
'Rust' movie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed stands by her defense team during her involuntary manslaughter trial, Tuesday. Picture: Alamy

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Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter - claiming he pulled back the hammer of the gun but did not pull the trigger when it fired.

He was initially charged in January 2023, but those charges were formally dismissed three months later.

Earlier in January 2024, special prosecutors brought the case before a grand jury in Santa Fe after receiving a new analysis of the gun, and Baldwin was re-charged.

The indictment accuses Baldwin of involuntary manslaughter through negligent use of a firearm, and an alternative charge of involuntary manslaughter "without due caution or circumspection".

The filming of Rust resumed last year in Montana, under an agreement with the cinematographer's widower Matthew Hutchins that made him an executive producer.

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