A New Mexico judge has set a 2024 starting date for the trial of movie armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin during a rehearsal on the set of a Western film.
State district court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer scheduled the trial to run from Feb. 21 through March 6 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The first day begins with jury selection.
Gutierrez-Reed has pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a rehearsal on the set of ‘Rust’ on Oct. 21, 2021.
An attorney for Gutierrez-Reed has described the fatal shooting as a tragic accident and says the film’s armourer committed no crime. Gutierrez-Reed is currently the sole criminal defendant.
Prosecutors are weighing whether to refile a charge against Baldwin after receiving a new analysis of the gun fired at Hutchins. Special prosecutors dismissed an involuntary manslaughter charge against Baldwin in April, saying they were informed the gun might have been modified before the shooting and malfunctioned.
Baldwin has said he pulled back the hammer — but not the trigger — and the gun fired, fatally wounding Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
In March, ‘Rust’ assistant director and safety coordinator David Halls pleaded no contest to a conviction for unsafe handling of a firearm and received a suspended sentence of six months of probation. He agreed to cooperate in the investigation of the shooting.
Defence attorneys said they plan to present evidence that Gutierrez-Reed asked Halls to call her back into rehearsal if Baldwin planned to use the gun. They say that didn’t happen before Hutchins was shot.
The filming of ‘Rust’ resumed this year in Montana, under an agreement with the cinematographer’s widower, Matthew Hutchins, that made him an executive producer.