Prosecutors in the “Rust” case allege that the gunsmith in the film delivered a bag of cocaine to another person the night after the murder of Halyna Hutchins.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was charged last week with evidence tampering for allegedly delivering the drugs in October 2021. Prosecutors allege that by doing so she interfered with the investigation into Hutchins’ death.
Gutierrez-Reed was already facing a manslaughter charge for loading a live bullet into Alec Baldwin’s gun. The prosecution has claimed that Gutierrez-Reed drank and smoked marijuana at night during production and that he may have been hungover at the time of the shooting.
Baldwin was also initially charged with negligently firing the gun and killing the cinematographer, but those charges were dropped.
In a motion filed Thursday, prosecutors say they have a confidential witness who will testify that Gutierrez-Reed delivered the drugs after returning from his initial interview with police.
«The circumstances of the transfer of evidence strongly support the charge that the defendant transferred the cocaine to avoid prosecution and prevent law enforcement from obtaining highly incriminating evidence directly related to the defendant’s handling of the firearm and the circumstances of the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins». prosecutors wrote.
Special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis are seeking an order that would keep the identity of the witness secret. According to the motion, the witness fears being «blacklisted» by the film industry for coming forward.
Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, has opposed that request.
“The state wants to publish lewd allegations about Ms. Gutierrez-Reed in a secret proceeding, which is not allowed by the rules or the constitution,” Bowles said in an email. «If the state really believes these accusations, why the secrecy?»
Prosecutors acknowledge that the identity of the witness will eventually be made public, but say the person wishes to remain anonymous for as long as possible.
Bowles has sought to have the case dismissed, citing numerous irregularities and missteps by the prosecution. He previously stated that the tampering charge was «retaliatory and vengeful,» and that it was filed without providing advance notice or witness statements.
Gutierrez-Reed is scheduled to make her first appearance in the new role on July 19, via Google Meets. A preliminary hearing is scheduled to begin on August 9 and is expected to last about a week.
Last week, the prosecutor’s former investigator, Robert Shilling, sent an email to prosecutors in which he called the Sheriff’s Office’s handling of the case «reprehensible and unprofessional.» Shilling accidentally copied the defense in the email.