A judge ruled that charges against “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will not be dropped ahead of a preliminary hearing.
Gutierrez-Reed appeared in court virtually Tuesday, where her lawyer Jason Bowles argued that the charges against her should be dropped due to structural issues with the case along with statements made to the media.
The armorer was hit with involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering charges after handling a gun that fired on the set of “Rust.” Actor Alec Baldwin had been holding the gun when it discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on Oct. 21, 2021.
Bowles argued the case against Gutierrez-Reed has “structural issues” and claimed the special prosecutors should have started their investigation over completely after the initial district attorney prosecuting the case stepped down.
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Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers argued for her charges to be dropped, but a judge ruled in favor of the state of New Mexico. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong/Instagram)
Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer also argued that the prosecution has released statements to the media that have affected the armorer’s right to a fair jury trial. One of the statements included was that his client was hungover during the day of the fatal shooting.
Meanwhile, the special prosecutors insisted Gutierrez-Reed is being “fairly prosecuted, appropriately prosecuted” for the crimes she’s been accused of. The prosecution further claimed “all of the evidence” gathered supports the ongoing prosecution of Gutierrez-Reed.
Special prosecutor Kari Morrissey also argued there is “no basis” to dismiss the charges without prejudice. The prosecutor accused Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer of wanting “more time” to prepare for the impending preliminary hearing.
The judge ruled in the state’s favor, allowing the hearing to happen as planned on Aug. 9, and Gutierrez-Reed’s charges will remain in place.
Prosecutors have accused the armorer of transferring “narcotics to another person with the intent to prevent the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of herself.”
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Hannah Gutierrez-Reed attends a virtual court hearing in the “Rust” case. (Courtesy of the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts)
Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer previously slammed the move as “retaliatory and vindictive” in a statement.
“Something is rotten in Denmark,” Jason Bowles told Fox News Digital. “It is shocking that after 20 months of investigation, the special prosecutor now throws in a completely new charge against Ms. Gutierrez-Reed, with no prior notice or any witness statements, lab reports or evidence to support it.”
“This comes on the heels of the state letting its lead investigator go, and the investigator raising serious concerns about the investigation in an email,” he added. “This stinks to high heaven and is retaliatory and vindictive.”
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While Gutierrez-Reed battles in court, the involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin were dropped.
Special prosecutors announced the decision in April as “new facts” had been revealed that required further investigation. In their motion to dismiss, the special prosecutors noted that the further investigation and forensic analysis required couldn’t be completed before Baldwin’s preliminary hearing, which was scheduled for May 3.
The case has been closed in the First Judicial District Court of New Mexico, but Baldwin could potentially still face new charges in the future.
Alec Baldwin was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to the death of Halyna Hutchins but his charged were dropped in April. (Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department)
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Baldwin still faces a handful of civil lawsuits, including one brought by “Rust” script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, along with another by Hutchins’ mother, father and sister. The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Gloria Allred.
“Mr. Baldwin should know that we remain committed to fighting and winning for our clients and holding him accountable for pointing a loaded gun at Halyna Hutchins, pulling the trigger, and killing her,” Allred said in a statement. “Mr. Baldwin may pretend that he is not responsible for pulling the trigger and ejecting a live bullet which ended Halyna’s life.”
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Amid the legal drama, Baldwin, cast and crew finished filming the “Rust” movie in May.
“It’s been a long and difficult road. But we reach the end of the trail today. Congratulations to Joel, Bianca and the entire cast and crew,” Baldwin said, referring to Joel Souza, the original director of the Western, and Bianca Cline, the new cinematographer.
“Nothing less than a miracle,” he added.
Alec Baldwin spotted while finishing filming “Rust.” (Reuters)
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