Special Prosecutor In ‘Rust’ Shooting Case Steps Down Amid Calls For Disqualification

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Gretchen Clayson Contributor
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The Santa Fe County district attorney overseeing the involuntary manslaughter case against actor Alec Baldwin for the 2021 “Rust” shooting has stepped down amid calls from the defense that she be disqualified.

After Baldwin’s attorney filed a motion to remove Andrea Reeb from the high-profile case because of her position within the New Mexico legislature in February, the special prosecutor voluntarily stepped down March 14, according to Reuters.

In a statement regarding her resignation from the case, Reeb explained that her “difficult decision” was reached “after much reflection.”

“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,” the statement reads, according to Deadline. (RELATED: ‘No One Is Above The Law’: Family Of Halyna Hutchins Supports Charges Against Alec Baldwin Over ‘Rust’ Shooting)

A court hearing in two weeks was set to determine whether Reeb’s role as a state representative and a state prosecutor stand in conflict with the state’s constitution, the outlet stated.

Baldwin’s lawyers have argued Reeb’s dual role “vests core powers from different branches – legislating and prosecuting,” something they have pointed out is restricted by Article III of the New Mexico Constitution, Fox News reported.

“Were the arrangement here approved by the courts, future District Attorneys could seek to curry favor with legislators who control their budgets by appointing them to high-profile cases – distorting the legislative process,” Baldwin’s lawyers continued, according to the outlet. (RELATED: REPORT: District Attorney Gives Alec Baldwin A Big Win)

“I will not allow questions about my serving as a legislator and prosecutor to cloud the real issue at hand,” Reeb wrote in her statement, according to Deadline. “My priority in this case — and in every case I’ve prosecuted in my 25-year career — has been justice for the victim.”

New Mexico First Judicial D.A. Mary Carmack-Altwies has not yet announced who will replace Reeb, indicating only that the special prosecutor’s request for removal has been filed with the court, according to Reuters.