The special prosecutor for the closely watched “Rust” movie-set shooting case, Andrea Reeb, is stepping down.
The decision follows a motion filed by actor Alec Baldwin’s legal team demanding Reeb be removed due to her conflicting roles.
Baldwin was charged this year with involuntary manslaughter alongside armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed in connection with the fatal accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021 on the set of “Rust,” a western movie.
Baldwin’s attorneys had argued that the New Mexico Constitution prevents Reeb — a state legislator — from simultaneously holding a position in the judicial or 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.”
The decision is the latest blow to the case brought by New Mexico against Baldwin for the shooting of Hutchins on a ranch near Santa Fe, N.M.
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.
Times staff writer Meg James contributed to this report.