‘Rust’ Armorer Transferred Narcotics on Day of Capturing, Prosecutor Says

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The unique armorer on the movie “Rust,” who was charged with involuntary manslaughter after a gun that was loaded with stay ammunition fired on the set and killed the cinematographer, will face a further cost of proof tampering associated to narcotics, a particular prosecutor within the case mentioned Thursday.

The brand new cost towards the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, “pertains to the switch of narcotics to a different particular person” on Oct. 21, 2021, the day of the capturing, “with the intent to stop legal prosecution,” the prosecutor, Kari T. Morrissey, mentioned in an announcement. A lawyer for Ms. Gutierrez-Reed mentioned that she supposed to plead not responsible to each the proof tampering and the involuntary manslaughter prices.

The extra cost was introduced as tensions between prosecutors and the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Workplace over the case started to spill into public view. An investigator who was faraway from the case after engaged on it for months for the district legal professional’s workplace sharply criticized the sheriff’s workplace earlier this week in an e mail to prosecutors.

“The conduct of the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Workplace throughout and after their preliminary investigation is reprehensible and unprofessional to a level I nonetheless haven’t any phrases for,” the investigator, Robert Shilling, wrote within the e mail he despatched Tuesday. “Not I or 200 more adept investigators than I can/may clear up the mess delivered to your workplace in October 2022 (1 yr for the reason that preliminary incident … inexcusable).”

Mr. Shilling declined to elaborate on the e-mail on Thursday, writing that he was certain by a nondisclosure settlement. Juan Rios, a spokesman for the sheriff’s workplace, declined to touch upon the criticism.

Mr. Shilling, an unbiased contractor for the district legal professional’s workplace who has reported to Ms. Morrissey in current months, had made the criticism in a notice by which he addressed a choice to take him off the case and submitted a discover to terminate his personal contract. The e-mail was offered to The New York Instances on Thursday in response to a public information inquiry.

The case has confronted quite a few issues since a gun that the actor Alec Baldwin was practising with on the set of “Rust” went off in 2021, killing the movie’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, and wounding its director, Joel Souza.

The unique prosecution staff initially charged Mr. Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter. However that cost was later dropped after a brand new staff reviewed proof suggesting that the gun he was practising with had been modified. The particular prosecutor who initially helped lead the case had stepped down after her appointment was challenged on authorized grounds, and the district legal professional in control of the case, Mary Carmack-Altwies, then stepped back and appointed Ms. Morrissey and Jason Lewis as new particular prosecutors.

The e-mail from Mr. Shilling, the previous chief of the New Mexico State Police, was despatched to Ms. Morrissey, Ms. Carmack-Altwies, one other member of the district legal professional’s workplace and, improbably, to Jason Bowles, a lawyer for Ms. Gutierrez-Reed. (Mr. Shilling mentioned he had despatched the notice to Mr. Bowles by mistake as a result of he has the identical first title as considered one of his supervisors. He known as his e mail “unprofessional,” noting that “the sufferer deserved higher.”)

On Thursday, Mr. Bowles mentioned in an announcement that the announcement of the extra cost after 20 months of investigation with no prior discover to his consumer was “surprising,” and famous that it got here on the heels of the state’s lead investigator “elevating critical considerations concerning the investigation in an e mail.”

“This stinks to excessive heaven,” Mr. Bowles mentioned.

Of the narcotics allegation, Mr. Bowles mentioned within the assertion that he hadn’t seen any info or witnesses statements backing it.

Mr. Bowles known as the e-mail alternate “past troubling” in courtroom papers he filed Thursday afternoon to bolster his request that the case be dismissed, saying that he was involved that he had initially been requested to erase the erroneously despatched e mail. He requested the choose to require that Mr. Shilling and the prosecutors produce all communications between them.

In her assertion, Ms. Morrissey defended the integrity of regulation enforcement’s investigation, writing, “We disagree with Mr. Shilling’s analysis that any gaps within the investigation performed by the Santa Fe County Sheriff couldn’t be cured and we’re diligently working with the sheriff’s division and our personal investigative staff to conduct any essential follow-up that we, as particular prosecutors, deem essential.”

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