‘Rust’ Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Told Detectives She Checked Dummy Rounds ‘Most of the Time’

“Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed told detectives she checked the dummy rounds on set “most of the time,” a line prosecutors in her ongoing trial underscored to the jury as they aim to prove involuntary manslaughter.

On Tuesday, February, 27, the jury in the ongoing “Rust” trial in New Mexico saw videos of interviews Santa Fe detectives conducted with Gutierrez-Reed in November 2021 after the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the “Rust” set. In the videos, she described her responsibilities and her process for checking for the safety of dummy rounds, which involves shaking each individual round to hear for a rattle to indicate they are a dummy and cannot be fired.

“I am shaking all of them most of the time,” Gutierrez-Reed said.

However, Gutierrez-Reed clarified earlier in the same interview that she had checked all of the rounds, that they had rattled, and she “dummied up the gun” upon first loading it before taking a lunch break. She did not notice there was a live round that had been loaded into the gun that was later handed to Baldwin.

“I went back through a bag that I had,” Gutierrez-Reed said in the interview. “This bag had a bunch of loose dummies in it. I went through, and I checked all of them, and I put them into two boxes… They were in my car for like two weeks.”

“If it didn’t rattle, I wouldn’t have put it in,” she added. “I checked all six of them for a rattle.”

Among the new details revealed in court were that Gutierrez-Reed brought dummy rounds that she had leftover from her previous film job, “The Old Way,” starring Nicolas Cage. The video interview with the detectives also revealed a text exchange in which the investigators sent Gutierrez-Reed an image of the live round that had been pulled from Hutchins and asked her if she thought it looked like a live round.

“That looks like a blank one,” Gutierrez said at first before later saying, “That might be a regular live round, though.”

“That’s what they were thinking — it could be a live round,” the investigator said.

“Holy fuck,” Gutierrez said.

Prosecutors will have to prove without a reasonable doubt that Gutierrez-Reed demonstrated “willful disregard for the safety of others.” If she is convicted, she could face 18 months in prison.

Gutierrez-Reed’s trial began February 22. Prosecutor Jason Lewis said Gutierrez-Reed was “sloppy” in her duties as the armorer, twice failing to check the ammunition in the gun properly. Prosecutors made the case that Gutierrez-Reed was unprofessional, and in pre-trial filings, prosecutors noted she was allegedly hungover while on the job and had been using marijuana, potentially impairing her work. Earlier in the week, a former crew member took the stand and testified that Gutierrez-Reed was not as professional as other armorers he had worked with in his career.

Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer, Todd Bowles, pointed the finger in her defense at numerous other parties, saying that a series of events and mishaps all had to occur for a gun to discharge on set and kill Hutchins. Bowles said his client was being made to be a “scapegoat” and that the entire mentality on “Rust” was “rush, get this done, so we can get the money.” Her defense argues that Baldwin was at fault for pointing the gun at another individual, and he also singled out supplier Seth Kenney, prop master Sarah Zachry, and the producers of “Rust,” who were issued the largest fine in New Mexico history by OSHA for failing to maintain safe working conditions.

Gutierrez-Reed is charged with involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering. Baldwin was again charged with involuntary manslaughter in the “Rust” case and will begin his trial on July 9.

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