The latest update in Alec Baldwin’s post-Rust shooting legal saga appears to be a favorable one for the actor accused of involuntary manslaughter: the special prosecutor on the case, Rep. Andrea Reeb, is stepping away from the trial.
Back in February, Baldwin’s legal team sought to disqualify Reeb, arguing she needed to be excused from the case based on precautionary constitutional provisions aimed at maintaining separation between government branches. Reeb also serves as a Republican state representative in New Mexico.
After much reflection, I have made the difficult decision to step down as special prosecutor in the Rust case.“ Reeb says in a statement shared on Tuesday evening by First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies’ office (which offered no further comment at the time.) “My priority in this case—and in every case I’ve prosecuted in my 25-year career—has been justice for the victim.”
Reeb emphasized that she “will not allow questions about my serving as a legislator and prosecutor to cloud the real issue at hand.”
“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,” she said. The A.V. Club has reached out to Rep. Reeb for comment.
As it stands, Baldwin and Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed are each facing charges of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Both charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 18 months, along with fines; both defendants have pleaded not guilty.
A preliminary hearing meant to determine whether the evidence in the case is sufficient to move forward to trial is scheduled for May. Per NPR, prosecutors have also stated that Rust assistant director David Halls has agreed to plead guilty to charges of the negligent use of a deadly weapon.
In November 2021, Baldwin shot Hutchins fatally after he was handed a prop gun that went off during filming. Director Joel Souza was also injured in the incident.