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Attorney for Alec Baldwin seeks to disqualify special prosecutor in ‘Rust’ shooting case

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Alec Baldwin moved on Tuesday to disqualify Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor in New Mexico who investigated him over the fatal shooting of the cinematographer on the set of Rust.

“The special prosecutor in this case … is a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives. Under … 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,” defense attorney Luke Nikas wrote.

Baldwin has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins. Baldwin was aiming a Colt-style pistol at her when a live round discharged, fatally striking Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.

The actor’s defense attorney’s motion to disqualify argued Reeb was simultaneously exercising legislative and judicial power. He wrote, “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 … even in the face of conflicting evidence or law.”

The filing cited a funding request from First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies of $635,500 from the State of New Mexico Board of Finance for the prosecution of individuals related to the Rust shooting — that figure included $156,000 for Reeb’s salary.

“Representative Reeb is violating both the plain text and the purpose of the New Mexico Constitution’s separation-of-powers provision … She must be removed,” Nikas claimed.

In response, Heather Brewer, spokesperson for Carmack-Altwies, said, “Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys can use whatever tactics they want to distract from the fact that Halyna Hutchins died because of more than mere negligence on the Rust film set. However, the district attorney and the special prosecutor will remain focused on the evidence and on trying this case so that justice is served.”

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