Alec Baldwin's lawyers say 'Rust' prosecutor should be disqualified

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By Phoebe Egoroff

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Lawyers acting on behalf of Alec Baldwin are seeking to disqualify a special prosecutor who is serving on the fatal shooting case.

Baldwin, 64, is set to make his first court appearance on February 24 following the tragic shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021 - after he was formally charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter last week.

The father-of-seven had been filming the movie Rust on location in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when a prop gun he was rehearsing with misfired, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.

Since then, Baldwin has maintained his innocence, accusing the movie's armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed - who has also been charged with involuntary manslaughter - of not ensuring the weapon was safe.

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Alec Baldwin was charged over the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the set of 'Rust' in October 2021. Credit: ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy

In 2022, Andrea Reeb was brought in to assist on the case, and was elected into the New Mexico House of Representatives in November.

However, according to Sky News, a motion was filed on Tuesday (February 7) by Baldwin's lawyers who argue that the New Mexico constitution expressly prohibits Reeb from serving as a lawmaker and prosecutor simultaneously.

It was argued that her situation - which was deemed "unconstitutional" by Baldwin's lawyers - puts her in a position where she is both involved in making legislation and deciding on legislation. "Representative Reeb is not constitutionally permitted to serve simultaneously as a legislator and a special prosecutor," the motion begins.

Last month, Baldwin shared this message with his wife Hilaria - two weeks before he was charged with involuntary manslaughter:

"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," it concludes.

The particular article in question holds that the three distinct powers in New Mexico - the legislative, executive, and judicial - must remain separate. "...No person or collection of persons charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments, shall exercise any powers properly belonging to either of the others," the article in the constitution holds.

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Andrea Reeb is both a special prosecutor and New Mexico lawmaker, which Baldwin's lawyers argue is "unconstitutional." Credit: ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy

Baldwin's hearing on February 24 will likely begin at 10:00AM local time at the Santa Fe Magistrate's Court, where the 30 Rock actor will reportedly attend via video link. He will then likely file a guilty or not guilty plea. One of the 40 plus witnesses may be called to testify at the preliminary hearing, which is set to occur at a later date and will establish whether there is enough evidence for Baldwin to stand trial.

After being charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter last week, Baldwin's lawyer Luke Nikas released a statement on the actor's behalf, saying: "Mr Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun - or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win."

Nikas further added that the charges "distort Halyna Hutchins' tragic death and represent a terrible miscarriage of justice."

Featured image credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

Alec Baldwin's lawyers say 'Rust' prosecutor should be disqualified

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

Lawyers acting on behalf of Alec Baldwin are seeking to disqualify a special prosecutor who is serving on the fatal shooting case.

Baldwin, 64, is set to make his first court appearance on February 24 following the tragic shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021 - after he was formally charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter last week.

The father-of-seven had been filming the movie Rust on location in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when a prop gun he was rehearsing with misfired, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.

Since then, Baldwin has maintained his innocence, accusing the movie's armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed - who has also been charged with involuntary manslaughter - of not ensuring the weapon was safe.

wp-image-1263190220 size-full
Alec Baldwin was charged over the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the set of 'Rust' in October 2021. Credit: ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy

In 2022, Andrea Reeb was brought in to assist on the case, and was elected into the New Mexico House of Representatives in November.

However, according to Sky News, a motion was filed on Tuesday (February 7) by Baldwin's lawyers who argue that the New Mexico constitution expressly prohibits Reeb from serving as a lawmaker and prosecutor simultaneously.

It was argued that her situation - which was deemed "unconstitutional" by Baldwin's lawyers - puts her in a position where she is both involved in making legislation and deciding on legislation. "Representative Reeb is not constitutionally permitted to serve simultaneously as a legislator and a special prosecutor," the motion begins.

Last month, Baldwin shared this message with his wife Hilaria - two weeks before he was charged with involuntary manslaughter:

"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," it concludes.

The particular article in question holds that the three distinct powers in New Mexico - the legislative, executive, and judicial - must remain separate. "...No person or collection of persons charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments, shall exercise any powers properly belonging to either of the others," the article in the constitution holds.

wp-image-1263193738 size-full
Andrea Reeb is both a special prosecutor and New Mexico lawmaker, which Baldwin's lawyers argue is "unconstitutional." Credit: ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy

Baldwin's hearing on February 24 will likely begin at 10:00AM local time at the Santa Fe Magistrate's Court, where the 30 Rock actor will reportedly attend via video link. He will then likely file a guilty or not guilty plea. One of the 40 plus witnesses may be called to testify at the preliminary hearing, which is set to occur at a later date and will establish whether there is enough evidence for Baldwin to stand trial.

After being charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter last week, Baldwin's lawyer Luke Nikas released a statement on the actor's behalf, saying: "Mr Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun - or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win."

Nikas further added that the charges "distort Halyna Hutchins' tragic death and represent a terrible miscarriage of justice."

Featured image credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy