Convicted Rust armourer denied immunity to testify at Alec Baldwin's trial, judge rules

21 June 2024, 15:45 | Updated: 21 June 2024, 19:50

A convicted film set armourer has been denied immunity to testify at Alec Baldwin's involuntary manslaughter trial over the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of Rust, a judge has ruled.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was jailed in April for her role in the shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died during a rehearsal on the New Mexico set of the western in 2021.

Baldwin pointed a prop gun at Hutchins, 42, when the revolver went off, killing her and injuring director Joel Souza.

The actor has maintained he pulled back the gun's hammer, but not the trigger.

Prosecutors had requested that Rust's chief weapons supervisor Gutierrez-Reed get so-called use immunity, which would prevent them using anything she says at Baldwin's trial, which is scheduled to start in July, against her.

Her lawyer said she does not wish to incriminate herself as she appeals her 18 months imprisonment over involuntary manslaughter and in another unrelated weapons case she faces.

She was found guilty of criminal negligence for mistakenly loading a live round into the gun Baldwin was using.

Prosecutor Kari Morrissey told today's hearing she may still call Gutierrez-Reed to give evidence at Baldwin's trial in July and labelled her "an incredibly important witness".

However, the judge said it was clear from preliminary interviews and arguments from Gutierrez-Reed's lawyers that she would not answer questions on the stand, with or without immunity.

In pre-trial interviews, Gutierrez-Reed claimed her constitutional right to silence.

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Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.

Prosecutors are trying to show Baldwin was negligent in his use of the revolver.