'Rust' weapons provider Seth Kenney says he never supplied live rounds to armorer Hannah Gutierrez

Seth Kenney worked with Hannah Gutierrez during the 2021 film shoot.

March 4, 2024, 5:49 PM

The owner of the prop firearms supplier for "Rust" took the stand Monday in the involuntary manslaughter trial of armorer Hannah Gutierrez, and maintained he never provided the crew with live rounds for the 2021 film shoot in New Mexico.

Seth Kenney, the owner of PDQ Arm & Prop, testified that he had been in constant contact with Gutierrez and prop master Sarah Zachry during the shoot of the Western and had supplied them with a single box of dummy rounds for a Colt .45 revolver on Oct. 12, 2021, nine days before the fatal on-set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Kenney denied that he ever sent any live ammunition to the set of "Rust." He noted that Gutierrez did have to get additional dummy rounds from her father, film armorer Thell Reed, that were used in another film shoot.

"The only way they were going to have dummy rounds on 'Rust' was to reach out to other suppliers in the business," Kenney said.

PHOTO: Seth Kenney speaks during the Hannah Gutierrez trial in Santa Fe, N.M., March 4, 2024.
Seth Kenney speaks during the Hannah Gutierrez trial in Santa Fe, N.M., March 4, 2024.
Pool via ABC News

On Oct. 21, 2021, Alec Baldwin, the film's star and producer, was practicing a cross-draw in a church on the set when the gun fired a live round, striking Hutchins and director Joel Souza. Souza survived the shooting and testified against Gutierrez Friday.

Kenney testified that the dummy rounds he provided to "Rust" had just been used on the TV show "1883" and they had been brought over from the Texas filming location the night before he handed them over to Zachry. He claimed that before he handed the dummy ammunition over, he polished each round and rattled each one to make sure they were dummy rounds and not blanks or live ammunition.

"I do not send out any dummy round that doesn't rattle," he said.

Kenney also discussed the acrimonious conversations he had with Gutierrez during the film shoot, including a text message exchange on Oct. 5, 2021, where he scolded her for losing some of the dummy rounds. He said that Gutierrez ended up acquiring dummy rounds that were used in the last movie she worked on, "The Old Way," which were supplied by her father in addition to the rounds he provided.

PHOTO: Hannah Gutierrez appears in court in Santa Fe, New Mexico, during her involuntary manslaughter trial, March 4, 2024.
Hannah Gutierrez appears in court in Santa Fe, New Mexico, during her involuntary manslaughter trial, March 4, 2024.
Pool via ABC News

The last conversation he had with her before the shooting was an Oct. 16, 2021, disagreement related to an accidental discharge on the set of "Rust," Kenney testified.

He said he chose not to respond to her after that disagreement.

"It was clear she was emotional, she sent me a text message back that had a number of expletives," Kenney said. "And so, I just felt she needed some space, and give an apology when it was due."

During the cross-examination, Gutierrez's defense attorney, Jason Bowles, noted that PDQ Arm & Prop also provided live ammunition to the crew of "1883" for a gun training camp. Kenney testified that he brought the live ammunition back but did not remember the exact date. Kenney testified that he did not have an official inventory spreadsheet.

"It was casual, but no spreadsheet of inventory," Kenney said. "You had to know what your inventory was by memory."

PHOTO: Rebecca Smith speaks at the trial of Hannah Gutierrez, March 4, 2024, in Santa Fe, N.M.
Rebecca Smith speaks at the trial of Hannah Gutierrez, March 4, 2024, in Santa Fe, N.M.
Pool via ABC News

Kenney did note that the live ammo provided to the "1883" crew was put in a bin in the PDQ offices and that bin was labeled.

In addition to manslaughter, Gutierrez faces an additional charge of tampering with evidence for allegedly passing off a bag of cocaine after the shooting.

Rebecca Smith, of Key Kraft services, testified that on the night of the shooting Gutierrez told her to hold onto something and gave her a "clear Ziploc baggie" with a white substance in it.

"I believed it to be cocaine," Smith said.

Smith said she was a former addict and threw the bag out immediately.

"I can't, first and foremost, have it in my possession," Smith said. "And second, I was really very offended and I didn't want anything to do with the situation anymore."

Smith said during cross-examination that she did not ask for more details and didn't actually know what was inside the bag, but ruled out any legal substance such as sugar.

Gutierrez's drug and alcohol use came up as a concern among some crew members during the shoot, according to a court filing from last month.

PHOTO: Security guards stand behind a locked gate at the entrance to the Bonanza Creek Ranch, Oct. 22, 2021, in Santa Fe, N.M.
Security guards stand behind a locked gate at the entrance to the Bonanza Creek Ranch, Oct. 22, 2021, in Santa Fe, N.M.
Sam Wasson/Getty Images

Zachry allegedly texted Kenney on Oct. 25, 2021, saying 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 in her filing.

Prosecutors rested their case Monday evening. The defense is scheduled to call their witnesses Tuesday morning.

Baldwin has also been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Hutchins' death, and pleaded not guilty. His trial is slated to begin in July.

ABC News' Meredith Deliso and Vanessa Navarrete contributed to this report.

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