‘Rust’ armorer files motion to dismiss charges in shooting case, citing ‘misconduct’

The armorer on the set of the “Rust’ film filed a motion on Thursday to dismiss charges related to a 2021 shooting that left one person dead and another injured.

Actor Alec Baldwin was also charged in connection to the shooting, where he fired a live round from the prop gun in October 2021, striking and killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were both charged with involuntary manslaughter over the shooting earlier this year, but prosecutors dropped the charges against Baldwin last month.

Lawyers for Gutierrez-Reed wrote in the filing that “prosecutorial misconduct in this case began at inception and has infected this prosecution at every turn.” They also accused prosecutors of trying the armorer in a “court of public opinion” and “irreparably tainting the jury pool.”

The filing also alleged that the case should be dismissed because of prejudice, adding that Gutierrez-Reed “suffered actual and substantial prejudice from the unauthorized combination of prior prosecutors on the case.” The lawyers wrote that there was a “discriminatory effect” in the charges, noting that the film’s first assistant director David Halls was offered a misdemeanor plea deal while Gutierrez-Reed did not.

The lawyers also argued that Halls was “culpable” in connection to the shootings under the Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OHSB) regulations, alleging that the defense team for Halls donated to the special prosecutors campaign.

“According to OHSB, Halls was culpable,” the lawyers wrote. “However Halls’ defense team donated to Reeb’s campaign.”

“And Halls was rewarded with a very favorable deal, with a promise to testify in other cases, including Reed’s,” they argued.

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