Los Angeles Times

Actor’s team spurs ‘Rust’ change

Prosecutor in the movie set death case steps down, pressed by Alec Baldwin’s side.

- By Anousha Sakoui

The special prosecutor for the closely watched “Rust” movie-set shooting case, Andrea Reeb, is stepping down.

The decision is the latest blow to the case brought by New Mexico against actor Alec Baldwin for the accidental shooting of cinematogr­apher Halyna Hutchins in October 2021 on the set of “Rust,” a western movie.

Baldwin’s legal team had filed a motion demanding Reeb be removed due to her conflictin­g roles.

The actor was charged this year with involuntar­y manslaught­er alongside armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed in connection with the fatal shooting of Hutchins on a movie ranch near Santa Fe, N.M. Baldwin has denied responsibi­lity for the death and cited the actions of other crew members.

Baldwin’s attorneys had argued that the New Mexico Constituti­on prevents Reeb — a Republican state legislator — from simultaneo­usly holding a position in the judicial and executive branch of government.

“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 in

a statement. “I will not allow questions about my serving as a legislator and prosecutor to cloud the real issue at hand.”

Documents confirming the resignatio­n will be filed with the court, said Heather Brewer, spokespers­on for Mary Carmack-Altwies, New Mexico’s 1st Judicial District attorney.

Last month, Baldwin’s attorneys successful­ly convinced the courts to downgrade charges brought against the actor. They argued a “firearm enhancemen­t” penalty carrying a mandatory prison sentence was wrongfully charged.

Baldwin faces a possible 18 months in prison if convicted of the involuntar­y manslaught­er charge.

Reeb, who is a former district attorney from eastern New Mexico, became a part of the “Rust” prosecutio­n team last summer during her campaign for a seat in the New Mexico Legislatur­e. The Republican was elected to her first term in November; she took up her role in the New Mexico Legislatur­e on Jan. 1.

Baldwin’s attorneys had argued that such a role could allow politics to influence the prosecutio­n.

“A prosecutor who also serves as a legislator could face pressure to make prosecutor­ial decisions that serve her legislativ­e interests, such as by prosecutin­g a prominent defendant associated with an opposing faction within the Legislatur­e even in the face of conflictin­g evidence or law,” Baldwin’s February motion read.

Baldwin has become a lightning road for political conservati­ves since famously ridiculing President Trump on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” The prominent Democrat became as known for his impression of Trump as his roles in the acclaimed movie “Glengarry Glen Ross” and the TV sitcom “30 Rock.”

Lawyers for both Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed declined to comment.

Baldwin’s legal team has recently been expanded to include Alex Spiro, who represents Elon Musk and has played a pivotal role in his takeover of Twitter. Spiro joined with John Bash, a former Trump-appointed U.S. attorney for Texas.

Carmack-Altwies still needs to convince the court that she has enough of a case to take to trial.

 ?? New Mexico 1st Judicial District attorney ?? PROSECUTOR Andrea Reeb is leaving the case.
New Mexico 1st Judicial District attorney PROSECUTOR Andrea Reeb is leaving the case.

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