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Detective cites evidence 'Rust' armorer brought live rounds on set

Published 02/28/2024, 05:53 PM
Updated 02/28/2024, 06:16 PM
© 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) - A New Mexico detective on Wednesday said Hannah Gutierrez identified an ammunition box and bandoliers as hers, boosting the prosecution theory that the armorer brought live rounds onto the of set "Rust" where a cinematographer was fatally shot.

Recent testimony during Gutierrez's involuntary manslaughter trial has seen prosecutors zero in on how six live rounds - strictly forbidden on movie sets - got onto the production where Halyna Hutchins was shot dead by actor Alec Baldwin on Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. His trial is scheduled for July 10.

Detective Alexandra Hancock testified that during a Nov. 9, 2021 police interview with Gutierrez, which jurors were shown, the weapons handler identified an ammunition box she drew a live round from as one she brought on set and said she provided bandoliers in which police found live rounds.

"There's a lot of things," Santa Fe County Sherrifs Office Corporal Alexandra Hancock testified when asked by a special prosecutor to list the "circumstancial evidence" she said she found that Gutierrez brought the live rounds.

Hutchins died after Gutierrez unknowingly loaded one of the live rounds into a revolver Baldwin was rehearsing with. The gun fired as Baldwin pointed it at Hutchins, also wounding director Joel Souza

In cross examination, Gutierrez's lawyer Jason Bowles pointed to his client's comment in an Oct. 21, 2021 police interview that her ammunition came from props supplier Seth Kenney.

Bowles asked Hancock whether she had tried to find invoices to show Kenney provided ammunition to Gutierrez's previous production "The Old Way." Gutierrez said she brought two boxes of dummy rounds and bandoliers used in "The Old Way" to "Rust."

Hancock replied that she had not.

© 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

Hancock said she found no evidence Kenney provided the live rounds found on "Rust." Kenney has not been charged and is set to testify on Monday in the two-week trial.

Gutierrez has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering. She could face up to three years in prison if convicted of both.

Latest comments

Doesn't a "live" round have a bullet sticking out beyond the casing?  Isn't it a bit longer than a "blank"?  I would think that it shouldn't even be able to fit in a box of blank cartridges because of the length difference.
Why didn't the Santa Fe sheriff's detective try to find invoices?
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