Hearing set to decide whether Hannah Gutierrez will testify against Alec Baldwin

Posted at 4:46 PM, June 7, 2024 and last updated 4:48 PM, June 7, 2024

NASHVILLE (Court TV) —Prosecutors are trying to force Hannah Gutierrez to testify at Alec Baldwin‘s upcoming trial, according to her attorney, who publicly broke the news on stage at a true crime convention in Nashville.

hannah gutierrez appears in court

“Rust” movie armorer Hannah Gutierrez, center, talks with her attorney Jason Bowles, right, and her defense team during her involuntary manslaughter trial, Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at the First Judicial District Courthouse in Santa Fe, N.M. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP, Pool)

Days later, New Mexico special prosecutors Kari T. Morrissey and Erlinda O. Johnson filed a motion to grant Gutierrez, who is listed as a defense witness, use of immunity. On Friday, the Honorable Mary Marlowe Sommer scheduled a hearing for June 21 over the issue in Baldwin’s case.

The former “Rust” set armorer is serving an 18-month sentence after she was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for her role in supplying the loaded gun Baldwin was holding when he shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.

Jason Bowles, who represented Gutierrez in her trial, joined Court TV anchor and former prosecutor Julie Grant and Court TV legal correspondent Matt Johnson at CrimeCon 2024 to discuss Gutierrez’s trial and how it could impact Baldwin’s trial.

When asked whether Gutierrez—who did not testify in her trial—would testify in Baldwin’s trial, Bowles said that after using her Fifth Amendment right during her appeal to not answer any substantive pretrial questions, prosecutors are now asking the court to compel her to testify by conferring immunity while she’s behind bars.

Court TV hosts The Rust Movie Shooting panel at CrimeCon 2024

Court TV’s Julie Grant & Matt Johnson host an exclusive deep-dive into the Rust movie set shooting with Hannah Gutierrez’s attorney Jason Bowles and renowned armorer Dutch Merrick at CrimeCon 2024. (Court TV)

“It’s fairly shocking,” Bowles said. “This prosecutor uses everything anybody says against that person and twists it any way she can. So, now she’s going to be forced to testify… and that impacts her case. It impacts Baldwin’s case.”

In the State’s June 3 filing, prosecutors admitted that Gutierrez’s testimony could help or hinder Baldwin’s case. That’s why they are pushing for the court to make Gutierrez testify and, more importantly, give prosecutors a chance to cross-examine her. Should she refuse to testify, Baldwin’s defense could use her previous statements as exculpatory evidence.

If ordered to testify, prosecutors say they expect Gutierrez would testify that Baldwin was inattentive and unwilling to participate in firearms training, including having “emotional fits” during rehearsals and breaking gun safety rules such as cocking or pulling the trigger. Prosecutors have also said Gutierrez would testify that Baldwin demanded a real gun be provided instead of the inert gun Gutierrez offered him just before the fatal shooting.

While the latest filings provide more context to the State’s case against Baldwin, little has been revealed about Baldwin’s defense. Baldwin has maintained his innocence as an actor in the film, saying that he was told he was handed a “prop gun” loaded with inert dummy rounds and that he pulled back the hammer but not the trigger when the gun went off. Baldwin’s defense team has also accused the prosecution of targeting him because of his notoriety.

PODCAST: Baldwin Movie Shooting Trial | Vinnie Politan Investigates

At CrimeCon, Bowles also revealed a new motion that he said he was actively working on with Baldwin’s defense which accuses prosecutors of withholding “potentially critical evidence.”

Alec Baldwin, in costume, fires a gun as he exits a church

Alec Baldwin is seen firing a gun as he leaves a church on the set of ‘Rust’ in a still from video obtained by the prosecution. (Court Filing)


Bowles said Troy Teske, an officer in Bullhead City, Arizona, and a friend of Gutierrez’s stepfather, Thell Reed, had recovered the reloaded live rounds from the same batch that made their way to Seth Kenney, a New Mexico-based weapons and ammunition supplier who was responsible for providing inert ammunition to the movie set. Kenney testified in Gutierrez’s trial that while he did use live rounds in training on the “1883” set, he had never sent live ammunition to the “Rust” set.

VIDEO: Seth Kenney Says He Never Provided Live Ammunition to ‘Rust’ Set

According to Bowles, Teske dropped off the reloaded rounds to the sheriff after Gutierrez’s trial because nobody ever came to pick them up. “So, if you get ‘em and you test ‘em, they could match up to the live rounds, and you could connect where they came from,” Bowles said.

While Guiterrez was acquitted on charges of tampering with evidence after the accidental shooting, her attorney said she still has a pending gun case. Prosecutors are not offering Gutierrez anything in exchange for her testimony at Baldwin’s trial except that it would not be used against her in the future.