NATIONAL NEWS

No drug test for ‘Rust’ movie armorer as her trail looms in fatal shooting by Alec Baldwin

Jul 19, 2023, 1:19 PM

FILE - This aerial photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., on Oct. 23, 2021. Film-se...

FILE - This aerial photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., on Oct. 23, 2021. Film-set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will appear before a judge during a remote court hearing scheduled for Wednesday, July 19, 2023, in connection to charges related to the 2021 shooting death of a cinematographer. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The former weapons supervisor on the set of the movie “Rust” won’t have to take a drug test as she confronts felony charges of evidence tampering and involuntary manslaughter in the on-set shooting death of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin.

A New Mexico district court judge on Wednesday dismissed a request from prosecutors to test Hannah Gutierrez-Reed for illegal drugs, calling it “an ambush” against her defense lawyers.

Prosecutors say Gutierrez-Reed passed narcotics to another person to avoid legal consequences in the immediate aftermath of the fatal shooting in October 2021, while contending in court documents that the armorer was likely hungover on the day a live bullet was placed into the gun Baldwin used.

Defense attorney Jason Bowles said the drug use allegations are unsubstantiated and undocumented.

It’s still unclear how several live rounds of ammunition got on set. Prosecutors say they have some evidence to support the theory that Gutierrez-Reed may be responsible for the introduction of the rounds.

Wednesday’s hearing, held online, was the first for a recently filed felony charge against Gutierrez-Reed of tampering with evidence in the shooting, which killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.

State District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer advised Gutierrez-Reed of her legal rights on the evidence-tampering charge, which carries a possible penalty of up to 18 months in prison. Gutierrez-Reed did not enter a plea.

An involuntary manslaughter charge against Baldwin was dropped in April. The actor was pointing a gun at Hutchins when it went off, killing her. Baldwin has said the gun fired accidentally after he followed instructions to aim it toward Hutchins, who was behind the camera.

Evidentiary hearings may take place as soon as August to determine whether the case against Gutierrez-Reed advances toward trial.

Additionally, Gutierrez-Reed still has access to guns as a self-defense measure against threats — something prosecutors raised as a concern during Wednesday’s online court hearing.

“We have a person who is a substance user who is in possession of firearms,” said special prosecutor Kari Morrissey.

Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers say prosecutors are resorting to “character assassination” to prop up their involuntary manslaughter case.

The filming of “Rust” resumed in April in Montana under an agreement with the cinematographer’s widower, Matthew Hutchins, that makes him an executive producer. Souza says he returned to directing “Rust” to honor the legacy of Halyna Hutchins.

National News

Associated Press

Shooting kills 3 people including a young child in a car on an Alabama street

Three people including a young child were killed when their car was targeted with multiple gunshots outside a residence in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday evening. The Birmingham Police Department said in a social media post that a triple homicide investigation was underway in the 3400 Block of 27th Street North. The police said officers responded […]

53 minutes ago

Carlton Smith, left, and Justin Nimmo pose in from of the console of the Barton Opus 234 theater or...

Associated Press

Reviving Hollywood glamor of the silent movie era, experts piece together a century-old pipe organ

DETROIT (AP) — A massive pipe organ that underscored the drama and comedy of silent movies with live music in Detroit’s ornate Hollywood Theatre nearly a century ago was dismantled into thousands of pieces and stashed away. The Barton Opus, built in 1927, spent four decades stored in a garage, attic and basement in suburban […]

3 hours ago

FILE - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, left, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator ...

Associated Press

Can a Medicaid plan that requires work succeed? First year of Georgia experiment is not promising

ATLANTA (AP) — By now, Georgia officials expected their new Medicaid plan, the only one in the nation with a work requirement, to provide health insurance to 25,000 low-income residents and possibly tens of thousands more. But a year since its launch, Pathways to Coverage has roughly 4,300 members, much lower than what state officials […]

3 hours ago

Catherine Ward, owner of One Acre Farms, a functioning educational farm to help special needs kids,...

Associated Press

After Beryl, Houston-area farmers pull together to face unique challenges

PORTER, Texas (AP) — Hurricanes cause trouble for everyone, but farmers have a whole other list of problems. Beryl has been no exception: Over the past week, the storm damaged crops, soaked rabbits and chickens, terrified goats, put horses at risk of developing colic and left cows without fences to keep them penned in. And […]

4 hours ago

Debris from the Titan submersible, recovered from the ocean floor near the wreck of the Titanic, is...

Associated Press

The first Titanic voyage in 14 years is happening in the wake of submersible tragedy. Hopes are high

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The company that owns the salvage rights to the Titanic is undertaking its first expedition to the ship’s wreckage in years, and those involved in the mission said they have both heavy hearts and lofty goals for a trip happening a year after a submersible disaster involving another firm killed five […]

4 hours ago

A person uses a cell phone on Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Los Angeles. The FBI Internet Crime Compl...

Associated Press

What’s worse than thieves hacking into your bank account? When they steal your phone number, too

WASHINGTON (AP) — One Monday morning in May, I woke up and grabbed my cell phone to read the news and scroll through memes. But it was out of cell service. I couldn’t make calls or texts. That, though, turned out to be the least of my problems. Using my home Wi-Fi connection, I checked […]

4 hours ago

No drug test for ‘Rust’ movie armorer as her trail looms in fatal shooting by Alec Baldwin