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Rust gunsmith denied immunity to testify at actor Alec Baldwin's trial

Rust gunsmith denied immunity to testify at actor Alec Baldwin's trial
Rust gunsmith denied immunity to testify at actor Alec Baldwin's trial

 


SANTA FE, New Mexico A U.S. judge has denied the prosecution's request that convicted Rust gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez be granted immunity to testify at actor Alec Baldwin's July trial for the fatal shooting for director of photography in 2021.

Gutierrez was convicted of manslaughter in March for the on-set killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and was what prosecutor Kari Morrissey called an extremely important witness against Baldwin.

Prosecutors are trying to show that Baldwin, 66, was negligent in his use of a revolver that fired live ammunition at Ms. Hutchins, who died at the age of 42.

Ms. Morrissey said at a June 21 hearing that she might still call Gutierrez to the stand.

However, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer said it was clear from her attorneys' June 21 preliminary interviews and arguments that Gutierrez would not answer questions on the stand, with or without immunity.

In pretrial interviews, Gutierrez asserted her constitutional right to remain silent and not incriminate herself when questioned about gun safety lapses leading to church shooting near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Prosecutors had asked that Gutierrez be granted so-called use immunity, which would prevent them from using anything she says during Baldwin's trial against her.

Her lawyer said she did not want to incriminate herself as she appeals her 18-month prison sentence in April, and in another unrelated weapons case.

Gutierrez was convicted after a jury found her guilty of criminal negligence for mistakenly loading a live bullet into the revolver Baldwin was using.

The actor denied responsibility for Hutchins' death, saying the gun went off on its own after he pointed it at the cinematographer and cocked it. He denies pulling the trigger.

In a recorded phone conversation after her trial in March, Gutierrez said she wanted to see Baldwin in prison, according to a filing by prosecutors.

Also on June 21, Judge Sommer allowed a group of defense witnesses to remain after Baldwin's legal team requested that they be removed from their list following pretrial interviews.

Ms. Morrissey said in a court filing that one of the witnesses, Mr. Zachariah Sneesby, said in a pretrial interview that he saw Baldwin pull the trigger of the revolver when he fired the bullet that killed Mrs. Hutchins. REUTERS

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