Rust film armourer Hannah Gutierrez in court over film set death

The armourer on the Rust film set where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot dead by Alec Baldwin’s prop gun has made her first court appearance.

Hannah Gutierrez, 25, appeared via video link in front of a New Mexico judge, where she was read the felony charges against her and informed of her rights.

Gutierrez is charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 42-year-old Ms Hutchins in 2021, and one count of tampering with evidence.

Both counts carry a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

Image: Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot dead in 2021. Pic: Swen Studios

State prosecutors filed the latest charge of evidence tampering in June.

They claim Gutierrez transferred narcotics to another person “with the intent to prevent the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of herself”.

Witnesses told investigators Gutierrez “was drinking heavily and smoking marijuana in the evenings during the shooting of Rust,” the prosecutors’ filing said.

Gutierrez’s lawyer Jason Bowles called the filing “shocking… with no evidence to support it” in a statement at the time.

New footage and stills are released of the moment cinemaphotographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of Rust. Pic: Sante Fe Police

Image: Alec Baldwin on the set of Rust. Pic: Sante Fe Police

In Wednesday’s court appearance, New Mexico special prosecutor Kari Morrissey told the court she has evidence Gutierrez has suffered “a significant substance abuse problem” and asked that she undergoes random drug testing to meet the conditions of her release.

Mr Bowles said he opposed this and had seen no such evidence.

New Mexico judge Mary Marlowe Sommer denied the state’s request for drug testing, calling it an “ambush to Mr Bowles”.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for 1 August 2023, ahead of a preliminary trial.

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Baldwin on set after an involuntary manslaughter charge against him was dropped

Image: Alec Baldwin (L) on set after filming resumed in April

Ms Hutchins died on 21 October 2021 during filming at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe.

Filming on Rust restarted in April this year on the Yellowstone Film Ranch in Montana, and Baldwin is reprising his role as the main character.

Involuntary manslaughter charges against Mr Baldwin were formally dropped on 21 April 2023.

Ms Hutchins’s husband Matthew Hutchins is now an executive producer on the film, and has settled a wrongful death lawsuit against Mr Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions out of court.

Marcel The Shell cinematographer Bianca Cline was hired to complete the project, and is donating her salary to charity in Ms Hutchins’ memory.

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