‘Rust’ Ammunition Supplier Rejects Blame For Live Ammo On Set In Armorer Trial

‘Rust’ Ammunition Supplier Rejects Blame For Live Ammo On Set In Armorer Trial

Monday marked the eighth day in the trial against “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in connection with the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Actor Alec Baldwin, who had been holding the gun, is not expected to testify at this trial; however, his own trial for involuntary manslaughter charges will be held in July 2024.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed has been charged with both involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence after prosecutors alleged that she handed off a bag of cocaine on the day Hutchins was killed, thus impeding the police investigation.

The rookie armorer has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

‘Rust’ Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s Father Accused Of Shifting Blame To Ammo Supplier

Armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed seen after fatal Rust shootingMEGA

On Friday, “Rust” script supervisor Mamie Mitchell was the last to testify. She had been present for two misfires that occurred on set and appeared annoyed during cross-examination when she was asked to recall them a second time. “I was there. It almost blew my ears out,” she told the armorer’s defense team, as per The Independent. She also seconded what director Joel Souza had testified to, reiterating that it was not in the script for Alec Baldwin to draw his gun and point it at the camera.

On Monday, the jury heard testimony from Stills Photographer Karen Kuehn, Crime Scene Investigator Marissa Poppell, who had previously testified, Key Kraft Services Rebecca Smith, and Ammunition and Props Supplier Seth Andrew Kenney. Kenney’s name had frequently come up during the trial, as he was almost charged in connection with the death of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins as well.

In testimony transcribed by Deadline, Kenney said that he “started to sense that there were efforts to redistribute blame or the cause of this accident” and accused Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s father of trying to shift the blame to him, since he was the one who provided ammunition to the set.

Referencing 81-year-old veteran movie consultant Thell Reed, Kenney said, “Knowing Thell and having been friends with him for a few years at that point, I know how much he loves his daughter.” He went on to say that Thell and her legal team were “essentially ultimately trying to blame the live ammunition on the set of Rust … somehow came through me.”

Bullets Found On Set Did Not Resemble Those In Kenney’s Shop

Police release photos from the set of Rust after fatal shootingMEGA

The police did conduct an investigation into Seth Kenney’s shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico; however, the live ammunition that they found in his shop did not resemble the live ammunition that had been located on the “Rust” set. In addition to providing the set of the Western film with dummy rounds, blanks, and other weapons, Kenney also supplied the Colt .45 firearm used in the fatal shooting.

The firearm, which had come from a “provider” in California, was reportedly designed for the use on the “Rust” set. Kenney told the jury that he gave the set a single box of fifty Colt .45 dummy rounds that had just come off a prop truck in Texas, where he had just worked on Taylor Sheridan’s “1883” series. Taylor says he handed over the ammunition to prop master Sarah Zachery on October 12, 2021.

The last text exchange that Kenney had with Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was on October 16, 2021. The self-described “expletive-filled” conversation was in relation to an “accidental discharge of a blank on the set of Rust.” Kenney described Gutierrez-Reed as “emotional” and felt that he was owed an apology.

Another text message that took place before October 16 featured a conversation in which Gutierrez-Reed said, “You just send me out to do these things and don’t teach me / Shame on both of you.” Kenney later admitted that although he had “issues” with the daughter of his old friend, he did not want to see her fired from the set of her second film.

“It’s not that I wanted her fired, she was doing a horrible job at props… I had mixed feelings about it,” he told the jury. “If I really wanted her fired, I could have gotten her fired.”

Other ‘Rust’ Crew Members Took The Stand On Monday

Police in the US have released video footage from the set of the film Rust, including of the aftermath of the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin. Halyna Hutchins, 42, was shot by Mr Baldwin while he rehearsed with what he believed to be a safe gun. Footage, which has no audio, released shows Baldwin dressed as a cowboy rehearsing with a gun ahead of the deadly shooting. He can be seen in stills from that video posing with the gun, and with ammo / ammunition on his costume in a scene set in a church. A clapper board with Ms Hutchins' name on it can also be seen. It's not known if the gun he is holding is the one that fired the deadly bullets. The actor, who was also a producer on the film, previously said he did not pull the trigger and had no idea how a live bullet came to be on the set near Santa Fe in the US state of New Mexico. The Santa Fe County sheriff’s office released a trove of documents released to the investigation this week. 26 Apr 2022 Pictured: Alec Baldwin seen in stills from video footage of Rust rehearsals released by investigators in the US. Photo credit: Santa Fe County Sheriff/MEGA TheMegaAgency.com +1 888 505 6342 (Mega Agency TagID: MEGA851467_005.jpg) [Photo via Mega Agency]MEGA“Rust” still photographer Karen Kuehn was the first witness to take the stand on Monday morning. She noted that “lower tier shows” were always trying to cut costs and did not feel that “Rust” was any different. In terms of the specifics of the incident, she provided several “I don’t recall” responses during her brief testimony.

Marissa Poppell, a Crime Scene technician for the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department, returned to the stand Monday. Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer, Jason Bowles, noted that the police search of Kenney’s shop was carried out weeks after the shooting and pointed out that Kenney had plenty of time to get rid of the ammo or any other evidence in that time to prevent him from being charged in Halyna Hutchins’ death.

Rebecca Smith, a self-described “set mom” who worked with key crafts services, told the jury that Hannah Gutierrez-Reed asked her to hold a bag of “powder” on the day that Hutchins was killed. Smith identified herself as a “recovering addict” and said that she believed that the powder was cocaine. However, she said that she tossed it into a garbage can in the hotel hallway after she left Hannah’s room. Therefore, the substance was not tested to verify if it was, in fact, cocaine. However, she did say that she received multiple text messages from the armorer asking for her “stuff” back.

On Monday, Smith told the jury that she had initially decided not to tell anyone about the powder because she did not want to be a part of the “Rust” investigation. However, in September 2023, she received a text message from special prosecutor Kari Morrissey seeking more information about the incident. The bag of “cocaine” later led to a charge of tampering with evidence.

The prosecution is expected to present its final witnesses on Monday and hand things over to the defense. Judge Mary Marlow Sommer has expressed hope to see the case go to the jury by the end of the week. Alec Baldwin’s trial, which will be overseen by the same judge, is scheduled to begin on July 9, 2024.