SANTA FE, NM (AP) – A special prosecutor who doubles as a state legislator is stepping down from his role in the murder case against actor Alec Baldwin in the death of a cinematographer on a New Mexico film set.
In February, Baldwin’s legal team sought to disqualify Special Prosecutor and Republican State Representative Andrea Reeb of Clovis based on constitutional provisions protecting the separation of powers between the different branches of government.
Reeb said in a statement Tuesday that she would not allow “questions about my service as a legislator and prosecutor to detract from the real issue at hand.”
“It has become clear that the best way to ensure justice in this case is to step down so that the prosecution can focus on the evidence and facts,” Reeb said.
District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwiss filed a notification in State District Court and declined further comment.
Baldwin and weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reid have pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of cinematographer Halina Hutchins. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison and a fine.
Hutchins died shortly after suffering injuries on October 21, 2021, during rehearsals for the western film “Rust” on a ranch outside Santa Fe. Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun went off, killing him and injuring director Joel Souza.
A preliminary hearing will be held in May to decide whether the evidence is sufficient for a trial.
Prosecutors say David Halles, the assistant director who oversaw security on the set, has signed a plea deal to plead guilty to reckless use of a deadly weapon.
In his role as legislator, Reeb has sponsored several criminal justice initiatives, including increased punishment for firearms violations.
Republicans from Clovis declined to vote on public spending to prosecute Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reid.
He was exempted from a House floor vote in February on a proposed state budget that included $360,000 for special prosecution expenses in the fatal film-set shooting.
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