‘Rust’ Armorer Can’t Be Forced To Testify Against Baldwin

Rust Armorer Cant Be Forced To Testify Against Baldwin

A New Mexico judge on Friday denied prosecutors’ request to grant immunity to a convicted “Rust” film armorer and compel her to testify at actor-producer Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial for the fatal on-set shooting of a cinematographer.

‘Rust’ Armorer Can’t Be Forced To Testify Against Baldwin : Judge’s Ruling

First Judicial District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer ruled against the state, noting that armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed had consistently invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to answer questions during a pretrial interview. Despite special prosecutor Kari Morrissey’s argument that the court could grant Gutierrez-Reed immunity to testify and hold her in contempt if she refused to answer questions, the judge rejected the request. Judge Sommer expressed reluctance to conduct a “mini trial within a trial” over the armorer’s refusal to testify at Baldwin’s trial, which is set to begin on July 9. She stated that the state could call other witnesses to provide similar testimony.

‘Rust’ Armorer Can’t Be Forced To Testify Against Baldwin : Background of the Case

The incident occurred on the set of the Western movie “Rust” in 2021 when Baldwin was holding a pistol that discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armorer responsible for overseeing the guns and ammunition, mistakenly loaded a live bullet into Baldwin’s pistol. Convicted of involuntary manslaughter in March, Gutierrez-Reed is serving an 18-month prison sentence while appealing her conviction.