A special prosecutor in the investigation of the fatal “Rust” shooting has withdrawn from the case after a challenge from Alec Baldwin’s legal team.
Baldwin’s attorney last month called for Andrea Reeb to be disqualified as special counsel since she also serves as a lawmaker in the New Mexico House of Representatives.
“My priority in this case, and in every case I’ve prosecuted in my 25-year career, has been justice for the victim,” Reeb said in a statement Tuesday.
“However, it has become clear that the best way I can ensure justice is served in this case is to resign so that the prosecution can focus on the evidence and facts, which clearly show complete disregard for basic security protocols. led to the death of Halyna Hutchins.”
Cinematographer Hutchins died in October 2021 after being struck by a firearm handled by Baldwin at the film’s Bonanza Creek Ranch located near Santa Fe, NM Baldwin, western star and producer, and gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez -Reed were charged in January with manslaughter.
Baldwin’s attorney claimed in last month’s filing that Reeb’s role within the Legislature made it unconstitutional for her to “exercise any power properly belonging” to the executive or judicial branches.
( Alec Baldwin’s legal team says special counsel should be disqualified: filing )
“I will not allow questions about my performance as a legislator and prosecutor to cloud the real issue at hand,” Reeb said in her statement Tuesday.
Baldwin, 64, has maintained that he was told the gun was cold, indicating that it was not loaded with live ammunition. In August, the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator determined that the shooting was accidental.
Baldwin, born in New York, faces a maximum prison sentence of 18 months, with no minimum sentence.
The producers plan to resume production on “Rust” this spring, moving the operation to the Yellowstone Film Ranch in Montana. Baldwin and director Joel Souza are expected to return, while Gutierrez-Reed is not. Bianca Cline takes over as cinematographer and Hutchins’ widower, Matthew Hutchins, will serve as executive producer.