Several "Rust" crew members expressed concern over armorer Hannah Gutierrez's alleged drug and alcohol use during the filming of the Western, prosecutors said in a new court filing, as her trial over the deadly on-set shooting approaches.
Gutierrez was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was fatally shot by actor Alec Baldwin on the Santa Fe, New Mexico, set.
The armorer was also subsequently charged with tampering with evidence, with prosecutors alleging she handed off a small bag of cocaine after her interview with police following the shooting on Oct. 21, 2021.
Prosecutors address allegations of Gutierrez's alcohol and drug use during the filming in a new filing released on Wednesday. The document was in response to the defense's motion to sever the tampering with evidence charge from the case and exclude any mention of alleged drug use, possession or intoxication from the trial.
In attempting to substantiate an alleged "history of reckless conduct," prosecutors shared a text exchange from Oct. 25, 2021, between prop master Sarah Zachry and ammunition supplier Seth Kenney.
Zachry texted Kenny that Gutierrez had allegedly blacked out the prior weekend and that "I think she was so drunk that she didn’t know she brought live ammo onto the truck when she went to get a gun from the safe," according to the filing.
Witnesses also saw Gutierrez "high on marijuana in her hotel room in Santa Fe while simultaneously in possession of boxes of ammunition for use on the set of the movie," special prosecutor Kari Morrissey wrote.
Morrissey further included the allegation that Gutierrez handed a bag of what is believed to be cocaine to another crew member following her interview at the police station on Oct. 21, 2021.
The filing also includes a series of text messages allegedly retrieved from Gutierrez's phone sent before and during filming "detailing the use of marijuana and cocaine and exposing her recklessness concerning substance use," Morrissey wrote.
In response to the filing, Gutierrez's attorney, Jason Bowles, said in a statement to ABC News that the state "unquestionably lacks authority to prosecute" her on the tampering with evidence charge.
In his motion to sever the charge, Bowles stated that the substance in the bag was never tested and there is no evidence of Gutierrez using it on or off set. He claimed she was charged with the offense "in an effort to cause unfair prejudice" to the defendant during the trial.
He also claims prosecutors violated her rights by disclosing her attorney-client communications to a third party.
"Their response to launch vitriolic personal attacks to obscure the facts and truth is more of the same unprofessional conduct that we have seen throughout the case," Bowles said.
Text messages between Gutierrez and Bowles had been shared with Kenney after he submitted a public records request to prosecutors for a cellular report obtained during the investigation into the shooting, according to Morrissey. Kenney had sought the report for a since-dismissed civil lawsuit filed against him by Gutierrez and Bowles, according to Morrissey. The prosecutor said she asked Kenney to destroy his copy of the report when she later realized it contained privileged communications.
Gutierrez was given the opportunity to enter into a plea agreement in the case on the condition that she take responsibility for bringing live ammunition onto the set of "Rust," according to the filing. The investigation has "developed substantial evidence that Ms. Gutierrez brought the live rounds on set when she first began work on the film," Morrissey wrote. Gutierrez has declined the offer for a plea agreement, the prosecutor stated.
Under the plea agreement, Gutierrez would have not been indicted on bringing a firearm into a liquor establishment – a felony charge unrelated to the "Rust" shooting – according to prosecutors. She was ultimately indicted on the charge in November 2023, after declining the plea deal.
Gutierrez's attorneys claimed the firearm charge was the result of "prosecutorial vindictiveness," in a motion filed earlier this month seeking to dismiss it, ABC Albuquerque affiliate KOAT reported.
They argued the firearm charge was to pressure Gutierrez "into giving up her Fifth Amendment right to silence (to provide information she didn’t have) or face felony criminal prosecution on a totally unrelated charge," Variety reported.
Morrissey pushed back against defense claims that the firearm charge was vindictive, arguing in the new filing that resolving unindicted cases as part of a plea offer is "routine" and that there is "substantial evidence" Gutierrez committed the three felony offenses she faces.
The state has not found any evidence that Kenney was responsible for the live rounds on the set, according to Morrissey.
Baldwin was recently indicted on involuntary manslaughter in the shooting, months after the special prosecutors initially dropped their case against the actor.
In emails between prosecutors and defense discussing the plea agreements included in the filing, Morrissey wrote that she does not feel Gutierrez has enough "credibility" to serve as a witness against Baldwin "due to her reckless behavior and significant drug use."
Baldwin entered a not guilty plea while waiving his arraignment in a court document filed on Wednesday.
She has pleaded not guilty to her charges.
Jury selection in Gutierrez's trial is scheduled to start on Feb. 21, with the trial beginning on Feb. 22. She has pleaded not guilty to her charges.
Her attorneys have previously said they expect a jury will find her not guilty. They said she "pleaded to provide more firearms training" on the set but was "denied and brushed aside."