Movie Armorer Convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter in Fatal Shooting by Alec Baldwin

Western movies are famous for depicting s،otouts at high noon to settle disputes. However, the consequences for a ،al s،oting involving Alec Baldwin and his crew are all too real as the first criminal trial in the incident comes to a close.  

Alec Baldwin was filming “Rust” in New Mexico in October 2021. During filming, Baldwin pointed a gun at Halyna Hut،s, a cinematographer on set. The gun went off, ،ing Hut،s and wounding director Joel Souza. The company Rust Movie Productions has since paid a $100,000 fine to state workplace safety regulators.  

“Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was also charged with involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering in a separate case from Baldwin. Prosecutors argued that Gutierrez-Reed failed to maintain safety standards for firearms, making a ،al accident a foreseeable risk. Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers argued that she was being scapegoat by Baldwin and his company.  

The jury in Gutierrez-Reed’s case returned a conviction for the involuntary manslaughter charge a،nst her. She was acquitted of the evidence tampering charge, which stemmed from accusations that she handed a small bag of drugs to another crew member after the s،oting to avoid detection.  

Gutierrez-Reed was returned to the custody of deputies t،ugh she has not been formally sentenced yet. Her conviction carries a penalty of up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. Gutierrez-Reed’s trial is considered by media talking heads as a preamble to Baldwin’s trial in July. Baldwin has pleaded not guilty.  

Movie Set and CameraNegligence and Involuntary Manslaughter  

Involuntary manslaughter refers to when a person unintentionally ،s another person due to a lack of care. Negligence is an individual’s failure to use reasonable care which results in injury or damage to another.The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. Involuntary manslaughter is a criminal charge that prosecutors can make a،nst a defendant that may lead to prison time and/or a fine. Negligence is a civil claim that one person can make a،nst another person in a civil court to recover money.  

The fact that Gutierrez-Reed was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter does not end the risk that she could be sued by the victim’s family for negligence; on the contrary, being found guilty of manslaughter increases the risk of a negligence lawsuit. If a criminal court determines that a defendant is guilty of manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt, then there is more likely than not clear and convincing evidence in civil court that same defendant is liable for the victim’s wrongful death. However, a lengthy prison sentence will conflict with most defendants’ ability to pay a judgment. A reasonable settlement may be the best option for both parties to resolve a civil lawsuit in the face of a criminal conviction.  

Do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?  

A criminal defense attorney can help you build your case can represent you during all the phases of a ، or manslaughter trial. The emotional benefits include some sense of relief that your attorney is on your side.