Defense attorneys for actor Alec Baldwin have filed to have special prosecutor Andrea Reeb disqualified from prosecuting the “Rust” movie shooting case because she is an elected official.
Reeb won election to the New Mexico House of Representatives in November, after she was tasked with determining charges in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. She was an elected district attorney prior to running for the state house.
She charged Baldwin and set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed with involuntary manslaughter in the on-set shooting but gave assistant director David Halls, who handed the gun to Baldwin and told him it did not contain live rounds, a plea deal, https://www.crimeonline.com/2023/01/19/breaking-prosecutors-charge-alec-baldwin-with-involuntary-manslaughter-over-fatal-rust-shooting/.
Baldwin’s legal team said in its motion that Reeb is “exercising either the executive power or the judicial power, and her continued service as a special prosecutor is unconstitutional” under state law, https://apnews.com/article/alec-baldwin-new-mexico-state-government-santa-fe-5cf951428d4eabf9fc4405ca3109281f.
Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, who appointed Reeb special prosecutor, said Baldwin’s motion was just a diversion.
“Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys can use whatever tactics they want to distract from the fact that Halyna Hutchins died because of gross negligence and a reckless disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set,” she said in a statement.
Hutchins was killed, and director Joel Souza was wounded, when a gun Baldwin was handling during a rehearsal on the movie western set went off.
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are due in court in late February by video conference. They face up to five years in prison if convicted.
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[Featured image: FILE – In this image from video released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, Alec Baldwin stands in costume and speaks with investigators following a fatal shooting on a movie set in Santa Fe, New Mexico. (Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)]