SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Facing arguments over the constitutionality of working on the criminal prosecution surrounding the fatal ‘Rust’ movie set shooting, special prosecutor Andrea Reeb says she is stepping down from the case. Reeb made the announcement in a brief statement released Tuesday afternoon.
The former New Mexico district attorney turned House lawmaker, Reeb was expected to serve as the lead prosecutor in the case against actor-producer Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. Both are facing involuntary manslaughter charges, accused in the October 2021 shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Back in February, Baldwin’s attorneys filed a motion, asking a judge to dismiss Reeb from the case, citing the New Mexico Constitution. Baldwin’s attorneys argued, in part, that Reeb cannot “exercise any powers properly belonging” to either the executive or judicial branches of government because of her position as a state representative in the legislative branch.
In a statement, Reeb said her priority in the case has been to seek justice for Hutchins. However, the state rep acknowledged the arguments surrounding her qualifications in the case. A hearing was slated to take place on Reeb’s role as special prosecutor on March 27.
“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.”
A spokesperson from the Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office says paperwork has been filed with the court to withdrawl her role in the case. It’s unclear who could take the role Reeb is vacating. The office of Santa Fe County District Mary Carmack-Altweis declined to comment on Reeb’s decision Tuesday.
Reeb remains a state lawmaker in the New Mexico House. Voters elected her to a first two-year term in November 2022.