‘Rust’ armorer waives preliminary hearing, heads to trial

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed waived her right to a preliminary hearing Friday, sending the case to trial.

Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney argued Tuesday to drop the case, calling it “compromised.” He cited changes in the prosecution team, prosecutors’ handling of evidence and statements they argued may interfere with the right to an impartial jury.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer rejected the arguments, instead pressing the court to “stay the course.” The judge also ruled a preliminary hearing would determine if there is sufficient evidence to go to trial.

That preliminary hearing was set for Wednesday, August 9 in Santa Fe.

With the “Rust” armorer waiving that hearing, the case will proceed to a trial. However, the court hasn’t set a date yet.

Prosecutors charged Hannah Gutierrez-Reed with one count of involuntary manslaughter earlier this year.

Then, after new prosecutors took over the case and conducted an independent review of new and old evidence, they added a charge of tampering with evidence.

A witness alleged Gutierrez-Reed passed narcotics to someone off of the set on the day of the fatal shooting in October 2021. That witness initially filed for a protective order but agreed Tuesday to testify publicly.