Andrea Reeb resigned as special prosecutor in charge of the “Rust” criminal case on Tuesday.
Alec Baldwin’s lawyers argued his appointment was unconstitutional in court filings last month.
Reeb said he didn’t want questions about her serving as a state representative to “cloud the issue.”
The special prosecutor leading the “Rust” film-set shooting criminal case resigned on Tuesday, following complaints from Alec Baldwin’s legal team that her appointment was “unconstitutional.”
In a statement, Andrea Reeb said that “after much reflection” she had made the “difficult decision to step down as a special prosecutor in the ‘Rust’ case.”
Reeb was brought on as a special prosecutor in August, to help with charging decisions in the investigation into the 2021 fatal shooting on the “Rust” film set. Baldwin was practicing a scene when a gun was accidentally dumped and struck by cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died.
Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and maintains he didn’t know the weapon had a live round in it and that he didn’t pull the trigger. His lawyers argued in February that Reeb’s appointment was unconstitutional because she’s also a state representative.
“It has become clear that the best way I can ensure justice is served in this case is to step down so that the prosecution can focus on the evidence and the facts, which clearly show a complete disregard for basic safety protocols led to the death of Halyna Hutchins,” Reeb said.
“I will not allow questions about my serving as a legislator and prosecutor to cloud the real issue at hand,” she added.
A spokesperson for New Mexico’s First Judicial District Attorney said the office had no further comment on Reeb’s resignation.
Luke Nikas, an attorney for Baldwin, did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment on Wednesday.
Reeb, a former district attorney, was brought on as a special prosecutor to lead the “Rust” investigation in New Mexico’s First Judicial District after she secured the Republican nomination for a seat in the state’s House of Representatives. She went on to win a seat in the New Mexico House and assumed her office on January 1.
Her resignation comes a little over a month after Baldwin’s attorneys petitioned the court to have her disqualified, based on the fact that New Mexico’s constitution bars legislators from also exercising powers in the judicial and executive branches of government.
“As a special prosecutor, Representative Reeb is vested by statute with ‘all the powers and duties’ of a District Attorney, who is considered a member of either the judicial or executive branch of the New Mexico government,” Baldwin’s lawyers said in the court filing. “Representative Reeb is therefore exercising either the executive power or the judicial power, and her continued service as a special prosecutor is unconstitutional. She must be disqualified.”
First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a court filing last week that Baldwin’s lawyers had a “misconception” about the role of prosecutors. She argued that prosecutors did not actually exercise the power of either the executive or the judicial branch.
Less than a month later, Carmack-Altwies filed involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer on set, for the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
The film’s director, Joel Souza, was also injured in the incident, which was ruled an accident by state investigators. But an FBI report found that the firearm couldn’t have fired without the trigger being engaged.
Reeb’s resignation is the latest road bump for prosecutors in the case. Last month, prosecutors downgraded the charges against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed, taking their possible prison time down from more than five years to a maximum of 18 months.
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