Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor in the shooting death case against Alec Baldwin has stepped down after the actor’s legal team claimed her involvement was unconstitutional since she was elected to the New Mexico House, making her ineligible to prosecute the case.
(Video Credit: KOAT)
The development is seen as a victory for Baldwin as Reeb was a legal bulldog intent on taking him down for his involvement in the October 2021 fatal shooting of the cinematographer.
Reeb was investigating the shooting and subsequent death on behalf of the Santa Fe district attorney’s office. She asserts that Baldwin and his team are without a doubt responsible for the death of 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins.
“After much reflection, I have made the difficult decision to step down as special prosecutor in the ‘Rust’ case,” Reeb said, in a statement released by the district attorney. She asserted that she is not conflicted by either her political role or Baldwin’s stardom.
“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,” she declared in a statement.
#Breaking Special Prosecutor Andrea Reeb is stepping down from the #Rust case. In a statement from the DA’s office she says it’s the best way to ensure justice, and “I will not allow questions about my serving as a legislator and prosecutor to cloud the real issue at hand." pic.twitter.com/zQaJIrdFLO
— Giuli Frendak (@gfrendakKOB) March 14, 2023
“I will not allow questions about my serving as a legislator and prosecutor to cloud the real issue at hand,” Reeb stated.
Luke Nikas, Baldwin’s attorney, filed a motion last month to have Reeb, who is also a Republican, disqualified and removed from the case. Baldwin is a radical Democrat with extreme leftist leanings.
Andrea Reeb announced she is stepping down as special prosecution
After Alec Baldwin argued she should be disqualified because she's a Republican
So, now if you're a rich/murderer
You can have the prosecutor removed, because they have different political views
Seems fair~ 🖕🏻 pic.twitter.com/8wbNGRdWjf
— TruthInBytes (@HipIsEdo) March 15, 2023
“Ms. Reeb’s continued service as a special prosecutor, in this case, is unconstitutional,” Nikas contended in his filing. “The legal question is not a close one. She must be disqualified.”
To make his point, the attorney referred to Section 1 of Article III of the New Mexico Constitution, which states that a sitting member of the legislature may not “exercise any powers properly belonging” to either the executive or judicial branch.
“As a special prosecutor, Representative Reeb is vested by statute with ‘all the powers and duties’ of a district attorney, who is considered to be a member of either the judicial or executive branch of the New Mexico government,” he further added.
Baldwin was formally charged on January 31. The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is also facing charges in the death of Hutchins. Baldwin has claimed it was an accident and he was not responsible because he trusted those on set in charge of the weapons.
According to the Daily Mail, Reeb remarked at the time the charges were announced, “We’re trying to definitely make it clear that everybody’s equal under the law, including A-list actors like Alec Baldwin.”
In February, Reeb’s spokesperson accused Baldwin’s legal team of attempting to distract from the case by demanding Reeb’s removal.
“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,” Heather Brewer stated in an interview with Deadline. “However, the district attorney and the special prosecutor will remain focused on the evidence and on trying this case so that justice is served.”
Judge Mary Marlowe Summer will preside over the first hearing in the case when it occurs. It was originally scheduled for February 24.
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