The weapons supervisor charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a cinematographer on the New Mexico set of the Alec Baldwin film “Rust” was charged Thursday with evidence tampering for allegedly passing drugs to someone else on the 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 Santa Fe County court filing. They gave no further details.
Gutierrez-Reed's attorney Jason Bowles called the move “retaliatory and vindictive.”
“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," Bowles said in a statement.
Gutierrez-Reed is the sole remaining defendant in the case after prosecutors in April dropped an involuntary manslaughter charge against Baldwin, who was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a rehearsal when it went off, killed her and injured director Joel Souza on Oct. 21, 2021. Prosecutors can still refile charges against Baldwin.
The new charge comes a week after prosecutors alleged in a court filing that Gutierrez-Reed was drinking and smoking marijuana in the evenings during the filming of “Rust" and was likely hungover on the day a live bullet was placed 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.
In his own filing Thursday, Bowles revealed that he had been accidentally included on an email 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 will be stepping down so special prosecutors can use their own investigator. “Not I or 200 more proficient investigators than I can/could clean up the mess delivered to your office.”
Bowles said in his filing that the email demonstrates the weakness of the case against his client. He said it suggests that the prosecution has been withholding evidence from the defense.
Emails seeking comment from the Sheriff's Office and the special prosecutors were not immediately returned.