Special prosecutor in Alec Baldwin 'Rust' case to step down

Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor in the fatal "Rust" movie set shooting case, has made the decision to step down.

"After much reflection, I have made the difficult decision to step down as special prosecutor in the 'Rust' case," Reeb said in a statement shared by the office of New Mexico's First Judicial District Attorney on Tuesday.

The statement continued, "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. I will not allow questions about my serving as a legislator and prosecutor to cloud the real issue at hand."

Last month, Alec Baldwin's lawyer filed a motion to have Reeb removed from the "Rust" case just days after he was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

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andrea reeb smiling
Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor in the fatal "Rust" shooting case, has made the decision to step down.

Baldwin's lawyer argued that Reeb could not simultaneously serve as the special prosecutor and as a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives in court documents obtained by Fox News Digital.

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"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," the legal documents read.

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"Were the arrangement here approved by the courts, future District Attorneys could seek to curry favor with legislators who control their budgets by appointing them to high-profile cases – distorting the legislative process," Baldwin's lawyers wrote.

On Tuesday, Baldwin lawyer Luke Nikas referred to the previous motion to have her disqualified in response to her resignation. He specifically referenced the section that said there is "no question that Representative Reeb is violating both the plain text and the purpose of the New Mexico Constitution’s separation-of-powers provision by serving simultaneously as a legislator and a prosecutor."

The "30 Rock" actor was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter on Jan. 31 in connection to the death of Halyna Hutchins. He pleaded not guilty last month.

Alec Baldwin in a dark suit with a light blue shirt and blue pocket square and bushy beard split Halyna Hutchins in a dark green shirt with flowers
Alec Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Reeb had previously dropped a firearms sentencing enhancement against Baldwin and former "Rust" armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed because the law that allowed for the enhancements did not apply at the time of the shooting. They could have faced years in prison over the enhancements if convicted.

Gutierrez-Reed was also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. She has not yet entered a plea.

Reeb is in her first term in the legislature.

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Baldwin's lawyers had argued the enhancement was "unconstitutional" in a Feb. 10 filing.

"The prosecutors committed a basic legal error by charging Mr. Baldwin under a version of the firearm-enhancement statute that did not exist on the date of the accident," the filing read.

Baldwin now faces up to 18 months in jail if found guilty.

The film's first assistant director, David Halls, pleaded guilty earlier this year to negligent use of a deadly weapon. He received a suspended six-month sentence of unsupervised probation.

Hannah Gutierrez Reed holds two revolvers
The film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter along with Alec Baldwin.

"In order to avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys, the District Attorney and the special prosecutor have removed the firearm enhancement to the involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the 'Rust' film set," Heather Brewer, spokesperson for the district attorney, told Fox News Digital last month. "The prosecution's priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys."

Hutchins died on Oct. 21, 2021, after a gun held by Baldwin went off and hit her during a rehearsal on the New Mexico set. Baldwin maintains that he didn't pull the trigger.

The district attorney's office added that paperwork for Reeb's resignation had been filed with the court, adding that it had no other comment at this time.

Fox News Digital's Lauryn Overhultz contributed to this report.