Potential Backlash Feared by Witness in Alec Baldwin’s “Rust” Fatal Shooting Case

by Madison Thomas
Alec Baldwin's Rust shooting case

On Friday, special prosecutors investigating the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film “Rust” requested anonymity for a key witness due to fears of industry retaliation. The witness is set to testify against Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, a film set armorer, who is being prosecuted for the incident.

The prosecutors disclosed that the witness is ready to testify regarding an incident where Gutierrez-Reed allegedly gave the witness a small bag of narcotics upon her return from a police station interview. However, concerns over media harassment and potential industry blacklisting have arisen.

Gutierrez-Reed is currently contesting charges of involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering. She remains the only defendant in the case following the dismissal of Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter charge in April, although the charges against him could be reinstated.

Baldwin was reportedly rehearsing with a gun aimed at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when the firearm discharged, resulting in Hutchins’ death and the injury of director Joel Souza on October 21, 2021.

In a recent court document, prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis expressed that the witness’s testimony about the alleged drug hand-off could substantiate claims that Gutierrez-Reed tried to obstruct law enforcement from acquiring firearm-related evidence before the shooting occurred.

The witness wishes to maintain their anonymity due to fears of being ostracized by the film industry for providing information about the defendant, the court document indicated.

Last week, Gutierrez-Reed was charged with evidence tampering. Prosecutors claim that she consumed alcohol and smoked marijuana during the “Rust” film shoot evenings and may have been hungover on the day a live bullet was loaded into Baldwin’s gun.

Jason Bowles, Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer, denounced the prosecutors’ attempt to introduce a “secret witness”, comparing the move to outdated 15th-century English secret prosecutions. He labeled the tampering allegations against his client as “retaliatory and vindictive” and an act of “character assassination.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Alec Baldwin’s Rust shooting case

Who is being charged in the “Rust” shooting case?

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film set armorer, is being charged in the “Rust” shooting case. She faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering.

Why is a witness’s anonymity being sought in the “Rust” shooting case?

The special prosecutors are seeking to protect the identity of a witness in the case due to the witness’s concerns about potential harassment by the media and fear of being blacklisted by the film industry.

What is the witness expected to testify in the case?

The witness is expected to testify that Hannah Gutierrez-Reed handed them a small bag of narcotics after returning from an interview at a police station. This testimony is meant to support allegations that Gutierrez-Reed attempted to obstruct law enforcement from acquiring evidence.

What charges were previously dropped against Alec Baldwin?

The charges of involuntary manslaughter against Alec Baldwin were dropped in April. However, the possibility remains that these charges could be refiled.

What accusations are being made against Gutierrez-Reed by the prosecutors?

Prosecutors have alleged that Gutierrez-Reed was drinking and smoking marijuana in the evenings during the filming of “Rust” and may have been hungover on the day a live bullet was loaded into the gun used by Baldwin.

More about Alec Baldwin’s Rust shooting case

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CinemaLover99 July 1, 2023 - 7:51 am

The Rust shooting just keeps getting more complicated. hope justice gets served and they can improve safety in the industry.

JusticeSeeker007 July 1, 2023 - 9:24 am

Wow, secret witnesses and narcotics?? This thing reads like a hollywood script! Let’s not forget a woman lost her life. Hope justice is served soon.

MovieManiac2000 July 1, 2023 - 11:43 am

alec Baldwin got off easy imho… Not saying he’s guilty but shouldn’t he at least face a bit more scrutiny?

MikeTheFilmFan July 1, 2023 - 6:06 pm

cant believe this is still going on! I mean, how could they let things get so bad on a film set? shocking really…

IndieDirector101 July 2, 2023 - 4:12 am

as a director, this whole case terrifies me. we really need better safety standards in the industry.


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