Expert Witness in Rust Shooting Trial Points Gun Toward Judge Before Bailiff Intervenes2

An expert witness at armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s Rust shooting trial pointed a gun in the direction of the judge before a bailiff stepped in to stop him.

Gutierrez-Reed is on trial in Santa Fe, New Mexico on charges of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence in the October 21, 2021 death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Alec Baldwin, who has denied pulling the trigger, was rehearsing a scene when the live round discharged from a prop gun that was supposed to contain only dummy rounds.

The tense and bizarre moment expert witness Frank Koucky pointed the gun in the direction of Judge Mary L. Marlowe Sommer occurred after he took the stand Tuesday to testify about his knowledge of guns, including one he was holding.

As seen in the video below, the judge cautioned Koucky:

“Alright, first of all, everybody’s nervous because you have not demonstrated to us that they are unloaded, so before you start showing us the weapons, make sure they’re unloaded, including that one that you just touched.”

While attempting to demonstrate the gun was unloaded, he pointed it in the general direction of the judge, and the bailiff intervened to lower it — as seen 33 seconds into the video below:

A Tense Moment at the Rust Shooting Trial

Moments later, when special prosecutor Kari T. Morrissey accused Koucky of pointing the gun at the judge, he denied it.

Also Read: Before Rust: 7 Movie Set Deaths That Could Have Been Prevented

“Do you agree with me that while you were sitting here in the court room, you pulled out a gun and pointed it at the judge?” Morrissey said, as seen in the video.

“I pointed the gun into this space up here,” he said, pointing up, “never directly at the judge.”

He also disagreed with Morrissey when she asked if a gun needed to be pointed down at all times. He said a gun “may be pointed up, may be pointed back, may be pointed cross-arms… may be pointed at the ground,” citing hunter safety classes.

The moment that Frank Koucky, holding gun, contends he was not pointing a gun at the judge in the Rust shooting trial. Law & Crime Trials.

In addition to the charges against Gutierrez-Reed, prosecutors also brought involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin, but dropped them in 2023.

However, the actor was recharged in January 2024. His trial is set to take place in July. Baldwin and the film’s other producers have denied any wrongdoing, and Baldwin’s attorneys have said that he believed the gun he was holding held only dummy rounds.

Rust is a Western movie written and directed by Joel Souza, who was also wounded in the shooting but recovered.

Gutierrez-Reed faces up to 18 months in prison, according to The New York Times.

In October 2022, the producers of Rust and star Alec Baldwin reached a settlement with the estate of Hutchins, Deadline reported at the time.

“We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, for our wrongful death case against the producers of Rust, including Alec Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions, LLC,” Halyna Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, said. “As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed.”

Matthew Hutchins also expressed his intention to finish the film, boarding as an executive producer, noting that he believes his wife’s death was an accident.

“The filming of Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board in January 2023. I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin). All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work,” he added.

Baldwin finished filming the movie last year, and producers said they hoped its completion would honor Hutchins’ work.

In addition to Baldwin, other cast include Travis Fimmel, Frances Fisher, Jake Busey, Josh Hopkins, and Patrick Scott McDermott.

A release date for the Western has not yet been set.

Main image: A judge intervenes to move a gun held by Frank Koucky during the Rust shooting trial. Law & Crime Trials.

Editor’s Note: Adds judge’s full name.