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Alec Baldwin seeks to disqualify 'Rust' special prosecutor

Meg James, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

Alec Baldwin is seeking to have a New Mexico lawmaker overseeing “Rust” criminal prosecutions disqualified from the case.

One week after Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, the actor’s legal team filed a motion demanding that special prosecutor Andrea Reeb be removed from Baldwin’s case.

In Tuesday’s motion, Baldwin’s lead defense attorney, Luke Nikas, argued the New Mexico Constitution prevents Reeb — a state legislator — from simultaneously holding a position in the judicial or executive branch of government.

Reeb, a former district attorney from eastern New Mexico, joined the “Rust” prosecution team last summer amid her campaign for a seat in the New Mexico Legislature.

The Republican was elected to her first term in November; she assumed her seat in the New Mexico Legislature Jan. 1.

The motion argued that Reeb’s dual role opened the door for politics to seep into Baldwin’s prosecution.


“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 associated with an opposing faction within the Legislature even in the face of conflicting evidence or law,” Baldwin’s motion reads.

Baldwin, whose long career included roles in “The Hunt for Red October,” “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “30 Rock,” famously lampooned former President Donald Trump on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” making him a polarizing figure among political conservatives.

Prosecutors declined to respond to the allegations contained in Nikas’ motion.

“Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys can use whatever tactics they want to distract from the fact that Halyna Hutchins died because of gross negligence and a reckless disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set,” New Mexico 1st Judicial District Attorney spokesperson Heather Brewer said in a statement. “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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