The special prosecutor in Alec Baldwin’s US lawsuit has announced that she is stepping down from the case to ensure her involvement “does not obscure the real issue.”
In a statement released Tuesday through the Santa Fe Attorney’s Office, Andrea Reeb said the decision was “the best way to ensure justice is served in this case.”
The Hollywood actor is facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the Rust film set in October 2021.
He has pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Baldwin’s attorneys previously argued that Ms. Reeb’s involvement in the case was “unconstitutional” because of her elected position in the New Mexico House of Representatives.
They said their position violated the separation of powers provision in the state constitution and could “make criminal decisions that serve their legislative interests.”
Despite the support of Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, Ms. Reeb announced her decision to resign on Tuesday.
“After much thought, I have made the difficult decision to step down as the special prosecutor in the Rust case,” said a statement released by the Attorney’s Office.
“My priority in this case – and in every case I have pursued in my 25-year career – was justice for the victim.
“However, it has become clear that the best way to ensure justice is served in this case is to step down so prosecutors can focus on the evidence and facts that clearly show a total disregard for basic safety protocols , which led to the death of Halyna Hutchins.
“I will not allow questions about my work as a legislator and prosecutor to obscure the real issue.”
The announcement comes a week after prosecutors described Ms. Reeb’s motion to be released from the case as being based on a “novel theory that has no support in the statutes or jurisprudence of New Mexico.”
In a reply, prosecutors said the state constitution provides a variety of safeguards against lawmakers interfering with the outcome of pending court cases.
“Any attempt by Ms. Reeb as Legislator to influence the outcome of this process would be utterly ineffective,” the filing reads.
“The disqualification of a special prosecutor on constitutional grounds is a serious device and cannot be supported by the fanciful but unsupported theories set forth in the defendant’s motion.”
Baldwin will next appear in court on May 3 for a two-week pre-trial hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to bring the case to trial.