Alec Baldwin Fights Prosecutors' Attempt to Force Convicted “Rust” Armorer to Testify at His Trial

Emily D. Baker, a former deputy L.A. district attorney who is not involved in the case, says Baldwin’s lawyers may be “nervous” about what the armorer might say

<p>John Lamparski/Getty; Jim Weber/Pool/Getty</p> Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed

John Lamparski/Getty; Jim Weber/Pool/Getty

Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed

Alec Baldwin’s attorneys don’t want convicted Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed to testify at the actor’s upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial.

In court documents filed June 7 and obtained by PEOPLE, lawyers for the 66-year-old Emmy winner opposed the special prosecutors’ motion to force Gutierrez-Reed, who is appealing her own involuntary manslaughter conviction, to take the stand at Baldwin’s trial in July.

Baldwin’s lawyers called the prosecutors’ move “unjustified and prejudicial.”

Gutierrez-Reed, who inadvertently put live ammunition into the prop gun Baldwin was holding when it discharged on the New Mexico set in 2021, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza, originally appeared on Baldwin’s witness list, but asserted her Fifth Amendment privilege to not answer questions during a pre-trial interview.

Baldwin, who announced June 4 he's starring in an upcoming TLC reality show with his family, has insisted he never pulled the trigger and did not know the gun accidentally contained live ammo.

Related: Everything to Know About the Rust Shooting Case and Alec Baldwin's Upcoming Trial

Because Gutierrez-Reed pleaded the Fifth, prosecutors asked the court to grant “use immunity,” which is “a limited use of immunity,” explains legal expert Emily D. Baker, a former L.A. Deputy District Attorney who is not involved in the case.

<p>Good Man / SplashNews</p> Alec Baldwin in New York City

Good Man / SplashNews

Alec Baldwin in New York City

If the court were to grant Gutierrez-Reed use immunity, whatever she says at the Baldwin trial could not be used against her during her appeal.

Baker says Baldwin’s legal team may have put her on their witness list assuming or knowing that she’d plead the Fifth while she appeals her conviction. Then, instead of having Gutierrez-Reed’s testimony, the attorneys would be allowed to show clips of her prior police interviews.

“In her interviews she's very clear saying she should have checked [the gun] better,” according to Baker. “Those types of statements where she's accepting responsibility” would be a boon to Baldwin’s defense.

<p>Mat Hayward/Getty</p> Halyna Hutchins in 2018

Mat Hayward/Getty

Halyna Hutchins in 2018

“There are so many video interviews with her already that one would imagine her testimony would be sort of similar to those interviews,” explains Baker.

Related: Alec Baldwin Announcing a Reality Show Ahead of His Manslaughter Trial Is 'Not Ideal' Timing, Says Legal Expert

But Gutierrez-Reed, in recorded prison phone calls, said she was “mad that the whole thing got pinned on her” and wanted to see Baldwin “in jail,” according to summaries of the calls provided by the prosecution.

For that reason, Baker wonders “if Baldwin’s team is nervous about her getting immunity because she had such harsh statements about Baldwin.”

In the attorneys’ June 7 motion, they blamed prosecutors for waiting too long to ask for use immunity.

<p>Eddie Moore-Pool/Getty</p> Hannah Gutierrez Reed, center, with her attorney Jason Bowles and paralegal Carmella Sisneros on April 15

Eddie Moore-Pool/Getty

Hannah Gutierrez Reed, center, with her attorney Jason Bowles and paralegal Carmella Sisneros on April 15

“If the State felt it needed a grant of use immunity in this matter, it should have filed this motion when it first learned Gutierrez-Reed intended to assert her Fifth Amendment privilege. The State did not do so, and all parties continued to prepare for trial on the understanding that Gutierrez-Reed would be unavailable at trial,” Baldwin’s lawyers wrote.

“The late addition of Gutierrez-Reed to the State’s witness list to provide open-ended, unspecified testimony at this late date is unjustified and prejudicial. The motion should be denied,” they continued.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer, who also presided over Gutierrez-Reed’s trial, will hear arguments for and against granting use immunity to Gutierrez-Reed on June 21.

Baldwin’s trial is set to begin July 10. If convicted, he could face up to 18 months in prison. 

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.