Prosecutors explore how live rounds got onto set of Baldwin movie ‘Rust’ By Reuters


© Reuters. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, former armorer on the set of the movie Rust, walks out of the court room during a break at District Court, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S., February 27, 2024. Luis Sanchez Saturno/Pool via REUTERS


By Andrew Hay

(Reuters) – Prosecutors on Tuesday focused on how live rounds got onto the set of “Rust,” questioning a detective who said the film’s armorer was mistaken when she said the live round used in a fatal shooting came from an ammunition box provided by a props supplier.

On day four of armorer Hannah Gutierrez’s manslaughter trial, jurors saw a video of a police interview with her on Oct. 21, 2021. That was the day “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died, struck by a bullet Gutierrez loaded into a revolver star Alec Baldwin was rehearsing with. Baldwin’s separate involuntary manslaughter trial is set for July 10.

Live rounds have been forbidden on movie sets for over a century. Prosecutors allege Gutierrez was unprofessional and unknowingly brought six live rounds on set and failed to spot them.

In the video, the armorer tells detectives the white cardboard box she drew a live round from was provided by props supplier Seth Kenney about a week earlier.

Asked by New Mexico state prosecutor Kari Morrissey on Tuesday whether the statement was correct, Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office detective Alexandra Hancock said it was not.

Later, in a Nov. 9, 2021 interview seen by Reuters, Gutierrez told Hancock she brought the box on set, then immediately added that the tray of rounds inside it could have been switched from another box.

Gutierrez’s lawyers say she is the scapegoat for a rushed production where producers such as Baldwin ignored firearm safety.

Baldwin has said firearms safety was the responsibility of weapons handlers, not an actor, while producers deny they ignored Gutierrez’s requests for extra firearms training for Baldwin.

Also Tuesday, medical examiner Heather Jarrell testified that medics incorrectly inserted a breathing tube into Hutchins and it took 1-1/2 hours to get her to a hospital.

Asked by defense lawyer Jason Bowles if Hutchins could have survived with speedier treatment, Jarrell replied “potentially.”

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