Convicted “Rust” Armorer Won't Be Forced to Testify at Alec Baldwin’s Upcoming Trial, Judge Rules

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who had invoked her Fifth Amendment privilege in a pre-trial interview, objected to testifying while she appeals her conviction

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

Jim Weber - Pool/Getty; John Lamparski/Getty

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and Alec Baldwin

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the Rust armorer serving an 18-month sentence for involuntary manslaughter due to her role in the accidental on-set shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in New Mexico in 2021, will not be forced to testify at Alec Baldwin’s July trial, the judge in the case ruled on Friday, June 21.

“It's pretty clear that she does not intend to cooperate,” said Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer after hearing arguments for and against compelling her to testify.

In a May pre-trial interview, Gutierrez-Reed asserted her Fifth Amendment privilege and refused to answer prosecutors' questions about the Baldwin case. Because of that, prosecutors filed a motion asking the court to force her to testify and grant her use immunity, meaning that whatever she said in her testimony could not be used against her in her pending appeal.

Lawyers for Baldwin as well as attorneys for Gutierrez-Reed objected to the prosecution’s motion to give her use immunity.

"Does Ms. Gutierrez, to your knowledge, have any intent to answer the questions if given immunity?" Sommer asked Gutierrez-Reed's attorney, Jason Bowles, during the hearing.

"Your honor, she does not want to be cooperative in this case," he replied, adding, "She does not want to answer the questions."

Reacting to the ruling, Bowles tells PEOPLE he is not sure whether the prosecution will still call her as a witness, but if they do, "Ms. Gutierrez-Reed will invoke her Fifth Amendment privilege as we have long said and as is her right."

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

Eddie Moore-Pool/Getty

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

Morrissey floated the idea of still calling her as a witness, and if she refuses to answer questions, "we will be asking additional jail time."

But in her ruling, Sommer said she would not want to conduct a "trial within a trial."

Gutierrez-Reed, who accidentally put live ammunition into the prop gun Baldwin, 66, was holding when it discharged killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in March. She is also headed to trial in August on a separate felony charge for bringing a firearm into a bar.

Baldwin, also facing an 18-month sentence if convicted, has insisted he never pulled the trigger and did not know the gun mistakenly contained live ammunition.

In their May motion asking the court to force Gutierrez-Reed to testify, prosecutors argued that if she wasn’t granted use immunity, Baldwin would then “likely attempt to have her previous statements admitted” at trial.

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

Those previous statements include clips of Gutierrez-Reed’s prior police interviews. “In her interviews she's very clear saying she should have checked [the gun] better,” legal expert Emily D. Baker, a former deputy L.A. district attorney not involved in the case previously explained to PEOPLE. “Those types of statements where she's accepting responsibility” are beneficial to Baldwin.

<p>Monica Schipper/Getty</p> Alec Baldwin and wife Hilaria Baldwin in 2021

Monica Schipper/Getty

Alec Baldwin and wife Hilaria Baldwin in 2021

And even though Gutierrez-Reed also said unflattering things about Baldwin in her police interviews, including how he was allegedly “not paying attention in his weapons training,” according to Baker, Baldwin’s team likely wouldn’t show those clips.

The prosecution would not be able to play those clips for the jury, either, because “ it's hearsay,” according to Baker. “The defense can't cross examine, and it's being used against the defendant, not by the defendant.”

Baldwin's trial is set to begin July 9.

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