'Rust' movie weapons supervisor charged with evidence tampering
The ongoing investigation into the fatal shooting accident on Rust's set reveals that the weapons supervisor has been charged with evidence tampering after passing drugs to another member on set.
The weapons supervisor of the set of Alec Baldwin's film Rust was charged with involuntary manslaughter over the death of the movie's cinematographer and has been charged with evidence tampering for allegedly passing drugs to someone on the same day of the shooting.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed “did transfer narcotics to another person with the intent to prevent the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of herself”, the special prosecutors appointed in the case said in a court filing in Santa Fe county, New Mexico.
On the other hand, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, called the move “retaliatory and vindictive”.
In a statement, Bowles said, “It is shocking that after 20 months of investigation, the special prosecutor now throws in a completely new charge against Ms. Gutierrez Reed, with no prior notice or any witness statements, lab reports or evidence to support it."
According to reports, Gutierrez-Reed is the only defendant left in the case after prosecutors dropped an involuntary manslaughter charge against Baldwin in April.
In 2021, Baldwin pointed a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a rehearsal when it went off, killing her and injuring director Joel Souza.
The latest indictment comes just a week after prosecutors said in a court document that Gutierrez-Reed was drinking and consuming marijuana in the nights while filming Rust and was most likely hungover on the day a live bullet was loaded into the gun Baldwin used.
Bowles called that allegation “character assassination” from prosecutors with a weak case that the defense has asked a judge to dismiss.
During his filing on Thursday, Bowles revealed he had been accidentally included in an email sent to district attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies from her lead investigator in the case, who slammed the law enforcement response to the shooting.
“The conduct of the Santa Fe county sheriff’s office during and after their initial investigation is reprehensible and unprofessional to a degree I still have no words for,” Robert Schilling wrote in the email, in which he said he would be stepping down so special prosecutors could use their investigator.
Bowles revealed in his filing that the email demonstrated the weakness of the case against his client. He said it suggested that the prosecution had been withholding evidence from the defense.
When the Associated Press requested comment, emails to the sheriff's office and the special prosecutors were not immediately responded.