(Albuquerque) The gunsmith on the set where Alec Baldwin shot and killed a cinematographer drank and smoked marijuana at night while filming Rust, prosecutors argued, saying she likely had hungover when she loaded a live bullet into the revolver the actor used.
Prosecutors submitted the new arguments on Friday in response to a motion filed last month by attorneys for Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the gunsmith, who is seeking to have her manslaughter charge dismissed. They accused her of having a history of reckless driving and argued that it would be in the public interest for her to “finally be held accountable”.
Jason Bowles, lawyer for Ms Gutierrez-Reed, said on Tuesday that the prosecution mishandled the case.
“The case is so weak that they have now opted to pursue libel charges against Hannah (Gutierrez-Reed), Mr. Bowles told The Associated Press. The prosecution has abandoned the idea of doing justice and getting to the truth, apparently. »
A preliminary hearing for Ms. Gutierrez-Reed is scheduled for August. A judge will then have to decide if there is probable cause for the charge against Hannah Gutierrez-Reed to go forward.
In the response, prosecutors also noted that they expect to decide within the next 60 days whether or not to re-indict Alec Baldwin, based on the results of an analysis of the gun and its broken trigger. The items were sent to the state’s independent expert for further testing.
The manslaughter charge against actor Alec Baldwin, who was also the film’s producer, was dismissed in April, with prosecutors citing new evidence and the need for more time to investigate.
Mr. Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during an on-set rehearsal in New Mexico in October 2021 when it went off, killing Ms. Hutchins, and injuring the director of the film, Joel Souza.
Ms. Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys had argued in their motion that the prosecution was “tainted with improper political motives” and that Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and the special prosecutor she originally named , Andrea Reeb, “had both used the tragic filming accident that resulted in the death of Halyna Hutchins as an opportunity to advance their personal interests.”
Defense attorneys argue that the permanent damage done to the weapon by FBI testing before the defense could examine it amounted to the destruction of evidence and a violation of court disclosure rules. . They also argued that the “selective prosecution” of Ms. Gutierrez-Reed violated the Equal Protection Article of the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution.
New special prosecutors, who were appointed after Ms. Reeb’s resignation, disputed those allegations in their response, saying “nothing about this prosecution has been or will be selective.”
Prosecutors also acknowledged the unanswered question as to the origin of the live ammunition found on set, saying they were trying to elucidate that aspect of the case and that the investigation was ongoing. They also suggested there was evidence to support the theory that Hannah Gutierrez-Reed herself could be responsible and, if so, other charges could be added.
They did not provide any details in the filing as to what that evidence might be.