Armorer Who Loaded Gun in Alec Baldwin Shooting Faces Trial: What to Know

The armorer who loaded the gun that Alec Baldwin was rehearsing with on a film set in 2021 when it fired a live round and killed the movie’s cinematographer is heading to trial in New Mexico this week on a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

The trial of the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, will mark the first time a trial jury will weigh in on the Oct. 21, 2021, shooting on the set of the film “Rust,” which claimed the life of its cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. A grand jury indicted Mr. Baldwin last month on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting; he has pleaded not guilty and will be tried separately later.

The trial, which will begin with jury selection on Wednesday at the First Judicial District Courthouse in Santa Fe, N.M., is expected to last about two weeks.

Ms. Gutierrez-Reed, 26, has been accused of criminal negligence in her handling of guns on the set of the western. Prosecutors say she failed to properly check that the rounds she loaded into the .45-caliber revolver were all dummy rounds, which are inert cartridges used to resemble live rounds on camera but which cannot be fired.

“Her primary function as an armorer on the ‘Rust’ movie set was to ensure gun safety,” the lead prosecutor on the case, Kari T. Morrissey, wrote in a court filing. “Her reckless failure resulted in the senseless death of another human being.”

Ms. Gutierrez-Reed has pleaded not guilty, and her lawyers have argued that she has been made the “scapegoat” of a tragic accident. They blamed someone else for the appearance of live rounds on set and charged that the production cut corners on safety in an effort to reduce costs, including by overburdening Ms. Gutierrez-Reed with two jobs that prevented her from being able to focus fully on her weapons and ammunition duties.

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