Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor in the “Rust” case, resigned on Tuesday, saying she did not want questions about her dual roles as a legislator and prosecutor to “cloud” the issues.
The move is another setback for the prosecution of Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez Reed who are accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021.
The prosecution previously dropped a five-year sentencing enhancement against both defendants, after discovering that the law did not apply at the time of Hutchins’ death. Reeb was hired last August by Mary Carmack-Altwies, the Santa Fe district attorney, to lead the prosecution.
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A longtime prosecutor from Clovis, N.M., Reeb was elected in November as a Republican member of the state House of Representatives. In a statement to TMZ, Reeb says “After much reflection, I have made the difficult decision to step down as special prosecutor in the ‘Rust’ case. My priority in this case, and in every case I’ve prosecuted in my 25-year career, has been justice for the victim.”
Reeb adds “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.”
The challenge from Alec’s legal team was also referenced, with Reeb ending her statement by saying “I will not allow questions about my serving as a legislator and prosecutor to cloud the real issue at hand.”
Baldwin’s lawyers argued that she could not serve both as a lawmaker and a prosecutor, due to the separation of powers provision of the state constitution. Reeb recused herself from voting on the state budget in February because it included $360,000 for the “Rust” prosecution.
A hearing on Baldwin’s motion to disqualify Reeb had been scheduled for March 27.
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