Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor in the high-profile “Rust” movie set shooting case, in which Alec Baldwin shot and killed one person and shot and killed another, just released a statement in which she announced her decision to step down from the case.
Reeb began the statement, which was shared by the office of New Mexico’s First Judicial District Attorney’s Facebook page on Tuesday, by saying “After much reflection, I have made the difficult decision to step down as special prosecutor in the ‘Rust’ case.”
Continuing, Reeb then said “My priority in this case—and in every case I’ve prosecuted in my 25-year career—has been justice for the victim. However, 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. I will not allow questions about my serving as a legislator and prosecutor to cloud the real issue at hand.”
Reeb’s decision follows just a month after Alec Baldwin’s lawyer filed a motion demanding that Reeb be removed from the “Rust” case. In the motion, the lawyer argued that Reeb should not be able to simultaneously be a special prosecutor and a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives. Writing on that in the motion, the lawyer said:
“Doing so vests two core powers of different branches – legislating and prosecuting – in the same person and is thus barred by the plain language of Article III of the New Mexico Constitution.” Continuing, the motion went on to say “Were the arrangement here approved by the courts, future District Attorneys could seek to curry favor with legislators who control their budgets by appointing them to high-profile cases – distorting the legislative process.”
Baldwin currently faces two charges of involuntary manslaughter over the “Rust” film set shooting. A firearm enhancement had been added to the charges, which would have meant that he could spend up to five years in prison. With it dropped, he now faces a maximum of only 18 months. Announcing that the firearm enhancement charge had been dropped in a statement to Fox News Digital, the spokesperson for the New Mexico DA said:
“In order to avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys, the District Attorney and the special prosecutor have removed the firearm enhancement to the involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the ‘Rust’ film set. The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.”
Baldwin’s lawyers had pushed back hard against the firearm enhancement charge, arguing that it was unconstitutional and saying that “The prosecutors committed a basic legal error by charging Mr. Baldwin under a version of the firearm-enhancement statute that did not exist on the date of the accident.”
Reeb, who just stepped down from the case, was the one who withdrew the firearm enhancement charge.
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