Prosecutors close case against 'Rust' armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed's by outlining 'safety failures' on set

Trending 2 months ago

SANTA FE, N.M. — The criminal proceedings for "Rust" armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is nearing a close.

After astir 2 weeks of testimony, closing arguments began successful nan New Mexico courtroom Wednesday afternoon. The lawsuit could beryllium handed complete to nan assemblage earlier nan extremity of nan day.

The lawsuit centers connected really a unrecorded information of ammunition recovered its measurement onto nan film’s group and into nan prop weapon that character Alec Baldwin was holding connected Oct. 21, 2021, which yet killed nan film's cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured head Joel Souza.

Gutierrez-Reed, nan armorer connected group astatine nan clip of nan incident, has been charged pinch involuntary manslaughter and grounds tampering and faces up to 3 years successful situation if recovered guilty. She did not return nan guidelines successful her ain defense.

During nan prosecution's closing arguments connected Wednesday, Kari T. Morrissey outlined what she believes were nan various information failures that led to nan on-set tragedy.

"This lawsuit is astir constant, never-ending information failures that resulted successful nan decease of a quality being and astir killed another," Morrissey said.

She went connected to item nan differences successful quality betwixt nan dummy rounds and nan unrecorded rounds.

“Which of these is not for illustration nan other?” Morrissey asked.

Morrissey said that Hannah had brought onto group leftover dummies from different movie that were provided by her father.

"I’m not telling you Hannah Gutierrez-Reed intended to bring unrecorded rounds connected set," Morrissey said.

“She was negligent, she was careless, she was thoughtless,” Morrissey said.

Morrissey besides said that pursuing nan fatal shooting, nan 27-year-old armorer was much “worried astir her career” and little astir nan victims.

But Gutierrez-Reed's defense attorney, Jason Bowles said that nan prosecutors had not proved beyond a reasonable uncertainty during nan proceedings that his customer was responsible for nan unrecorded rounds making their measurement to nan set.

"The [ammunition] boxes don't matter, because we don't cognize what was successful them 3 aliases 4 days before," he said.

He besides said that you "can't trust" immoderate of nan trial's testimony.

"We want nan truth and each nan facts that were recovered by OSHA and we want each nan facts that were not recovered successful this courtroom ... if you don't person each nan grounds past you can't norm retired reasonable doubt," Bowles said.

Throughout nan trial, a bid of eyewitness accounts from those who were connected group took nan stand. Including Souza, who recounted what it was for illustration to beryllium changeable and nan disorder that ensued.

“Nothing made sense," Souza said connected nan guidelines past week. He said he remembered looking up astatine Gutierrez-Reed aft nan incident and proceeding her many times say, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Joel.”

Souza described nan emotion of being changeable arsenic though personification had “taken a shot bat to my shoulder.”

But he said he did not recognize he had been injured by a unrecorded information of ammunition, and erstwhile aesculapian unit informed him of that astatine nan hospital, “It could not compute for me,” Souza said.

Dave Halls, who served arsenic nan film’s information coordinator and pleaded nary title to negligent usage of a deadly limb past twelvemonth arsenic portion of a plea deal also took nan stand. His grounds marked nan first clip he had spoken publically astir what happened that day. An affectional Halls said during his grounds that he should person checked nan weapon much thoroughly and admitted that he “did an improper cheque of that firearm.”

Halls went connected to opportunity that he did not callback seeing Gutierrez-Reed rotation nan full cylinder astir to guarantee each bullets were dummy rounds. While wiping distant tears he said, “I fto a information cheque pass.”

During opening statements, typical charismatic Jason Lewis called Gutierrez-Reed’s behaviour connected nan “Rust” group “sloppy” and “unprofessional.”

“We judge that it was nan negligent acts and failures of nan suspect ... that contributed to Ms. Hutchins’ death,” he said. Now it's up to a assemblage to determine if nan prosecutors person demonstrated beyond a reasonable uncertainty that Gutierrez-Reed was responsible for Hutchins' death.

Baldwin, who is charged pinch 1 count of involuntary manslaughter has his ain criminal proceedings which will statesman successful July.

Dana Griffin and Sumiko Moots reported from Santa Fe and Chloe Melas reported from New York City.

Chloe Melas

Chloe Melas is an intermezo analogous for NBC News. 

Dana Griffin

Dana Griffin is an NBC News correspondent.