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‘Rust’ armorer to be sentenced over deadly on-set shooting

The accused faces up to 18 months in prison

The armorer who loaded the gun that killed a cinematographer on the set of the Alec Baldwin movie “Rust” was set to be sentenced Monday by a US court.

Hannah Gutierrez faces up to 18 months in prison after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the October 2021 death of Halyna Hutchins during the filming of the budget Western.

Gutierrez’s 10-day trial heard how the 26-year-old was ultimately responsible for the presence of six live rounds on the set – in clear violation of standard movie industry practices.

It also heard how she had repeatedly failed to follow basic safety rules, leaving guns unattended and allowing actors – including Baldwin – to wave weapons around.

Hutchins was hit by a bullet fired from the Colt .45 revolver that Baldwin was holding for a scene inside a wooden church on the New Mexico set. Director Joel Souza was wounded by the same bullet.

Baldwin, who was also a producer on the movie, faces his own involuntary manslaughter trial in July. He denies the charge.

If convicted, he too faces a possible 18 months in prison.

Dave Halls, the film’s safety coordinator and assistant director, who handed Baldwin the loaded gun, agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors last year and was sentenced to six months’ probation.

The tragedy sent shock waves through Hollywood and led to calls for a complete ban on the use of weapons on movie sets.

Industry insiders, however, insisted that rules were already in place to prevent such incidents, and that those working on “Rust” had not followed them.

‘Russian roulette’

The blockbuster trial last month, which was followed closely in US and international media, heard how Gutierrez was routinely lackadaisical on set.

Prosecutor Kari Morrissey said she was often not present when scenes involving firearms were being filmed, and would leave guns unsupervised.

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Gutierrez allowed herself to be hurried by Baldwin, and mixed up different kinds of ammunition on the props tray, allowing live rounds and dummy bullets to freely intermingle.

It was a genuine bullet that she put in Baldwin’s gun as the actor, Souza and Hutchins prepared for a scene.

Hutchins, who was 42 at the time of her death and the mother of a young child, was standing near the camera that would be used to film the scene.

The bullet passed through her chest and hit Souza, the director.

Hutchins was airlifted to a hospital but declared dead that day, having suffered massive bleeding.

“Folks, if she’s not checking the dummy ammunition… to make sure that those rounds… are in fact dummy rounds, this was a game of Russian roulette every time an actor had a gun,” Morrissey said during the trial last month.

Gutierrez, who displayed no emotion during her two-week trial, has been in custody since the verdict.

The filming of “Rust” was halted by the tragedy, but completed last year on location in Montana.

The cinematographer’s widower, Matthew Hutchins, has already settled a wrongful death suit with “Rust” producers. He served as an executive producer.

No release date has been set for the movie.

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