Alec Baldwin asks court to DISQUALIFY special prosecutor assigned to involuntary


Alec Baldwin has demanded the special prosecutor assigned to his involuntary manslaughter case be disqualified due to her status as a Republican lawmaker. 

Baldwin accidentally shot and killed 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins after being handed a gun with live ammunition on the set of his film Rust in October 2021.   

Andrea Reeb kicked off the prosecution sensationally last month, and flatly declared that if not for the actions of Baldwin and others on set ‘Hutchins would be alive today.’ 

But the Hollywood star, who faces up to five years in jail if convicted, has now said the appointment of Reeb as special prosecutor is ‘unconstitutional’ because she also serves in the New Mexico House of Representatives

A motion to the court filed on behalf of Baldwin – a Democrat and vocal Donald Trump critic – says she ‘must’ be taken off the case, alleging her appointment is a violation of New Mexico’s constitution which prohibits the mixing of two branches of government. 

Alec Baldwin and the film´s armorer face two charges of involuntary manslaughter stemming from the incident in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Santa Fe County Sheriff´s Office/PA)

Alec Baldwin and the film´s armorer face two charges of involuntary manslaughter stemming from the incident in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Santa Fe County Sheriff´s Office/PA)

Reeb was elected to the New Mexico representative house in November 2022, taking up the role at the start of this year

Reeb was elected to the New Mexico representative house in November 2022, taking up the role at the start of this year

The motion, seen by Law and Crime, adds that she could face ‘pressure’ to make a decision that serves her ‘legislative interests’. 

The argument is a constitutional one and not politically motivated, his team said. 

‘Under Section 1 of Article III of the New Mexico Constitution, however, a sitting member of the Legislature may not ‘exercise any powers properly belonging’ to either the executive or judicial branch,’ Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas said in the motion. 

‘As a special prosecutor, Representative Reeb is vested by statute with ‘all the powers and duties’ of a District Attorney, who is considered to be a member of either the judicial or executive branch of the New Mexico government.

‘The legal question is not a close one, she must be disqualified.’ 

Baldwin is scheduled to make his first court appearance on February 24. 

Halyna Hutchins, a 42-year-old married mother of a young son, died in hospital in New Mexico after the accidental shooting

Halyna Hutchins, a 42-year-old married mother of a young son, died in hospital in New Mexico after the accidental shooting

Halyna Hutchins, 42, was shot and killed on the 'Rust' movie set on October 21

Halyna Hutchins, 42, was shot and killed on the movie set on October 21 

Reeb was elected as district attorney in Mexico in 2014 before being elected to the New Mexico representative house in November 2022. She took up the role at the start of this year. 

She was also asked to act as a special prosecutor, which involves working independently in a criminal investigation and identifying potential conflicts of interest and facilitating expertise.

Last month she denied her prosecutorial decisions were impacted by politics.

‘Everybody’s equal under the law. It doesn’t matter if he’s a liberal Democrat and I’m a conservative Republican,’ she told CNN. 

‘My job has always been to prosecute crimes and hold defendants accountable and help victims. In this case it’s no different.’

But the motion filed by Baldwin’s team argues that the high public interest in the case as well as Reeb’s political platform could skew her objectivity.

Last month Reeb denied her prosecutorial decisions were impacted by politics

Last month Reeb denied her prosecutorial decisions were impacted by politics

‘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,’ it says. 

‘And even if she does not allow her legislative interests to influence her prosecutorial choices, the perception of bias could diminish public confidence in the fairness of the criminal process.’

It also said it would set an alarming precedent in the criminal courts as future District Attorneys could seek to ‘curry favor’ with legislators – who control their budgets – by appointing them to high-profile cases. 

In a footnote, Baldwin referenced a New Mexico lawmaker, Jason Harper, who called the charges against him a ‘frivolous use of tax dollars and a waste of time.’

The same footnote raises other criticism of the case, such as the actors’ union calling it ‘wrong and uninformed’. A CNN legal analyst added it was ‘ill-advised.’

Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (center) died after being shot by Baldwin during a rehearsal on October 21, 2021 in New Mexico

Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (center) died after being shot by Baldwin during a rehearsal on October 21, 2021 in New Mexico

An aerial view of the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, where the movie was being filmed

An aerial view of the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, where the movie was being filmed

Baldwin is facing charges over Hutchins’ death alongside armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who faced identical charges, and assistant director David Halls, who pleaded guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon. 

Prosecution attorneys had previously alleged that Baldwin’s ‘reckless deviation from known standards and practice and protocol’ directly caused the fatal incident. 

It is alleged the actor showed ‘willful disregard’ for the safety of others on set in New Mexico.

Baldwin was not present for ‘mandatory’ firearms training, instead undergoing a 30-minute on-set session, during which he was distracted by a phone call to his family, the DA said.

Hutchins' October 19, 2021 Instagram post showed cast members and staffers, including Baldwin alongside Hutchins herself and armorer Gutierrez-Reed (circled left to right) on the set of Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Hutchins’ October 19, 2021 Instagram post showed cast members and staffers, including Baldwin alongside Hutchins herself and armorer Gutierrez-Reed (circled left to right) on the set of Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Baldwin’s version of on-set tragedy, as told to ABC News 

‘I’m just showing. I go, ‘How ’bout that? Does that work? You see that? Do you see that?’ 

‘And then she goes, ‘Yeah, that’s good.’ 

‘I let go of the hammer, bang. The gun goes off. Everyone is horrified. They’re shocked. It’s loud. They don’t have their earplugs in. 

‘No one was – the gun was supposed to be empty. I was told I was handed an empty gun. 

‘If they were cosmetic rounds, nothing with a charge at all, a flash round, nothing. 

‘She goes down, I thought to myself, ‘Did she faint?’ 

‘The notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me ’till probably 45 minutes to an hour later.’

He added: ‘Well, she’s laying there and I go, ‘Did she hit by wadding? Was there a blank?’  

‘I never pulled the trigger. No, no, no. You would never do that. 

‘The gun was supposed to be empty. I was told I was handed an empty gun. ‘



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