Alec Baldwin files motion to have special prosecutor dismissed from Rust hearing
Alec Baldwin has sought to have the special prosecutor in his upcoming US hearing dismissed, saying that her involvement in the case is “unconstitutional”.
Baldwin’s lawyers argued that Andrea Reeb should be “disqualified” from the hearing, due to her elected position in the New Mexico House of Representatives.
The Hollywood actor is set to appear in court for the first time on February 24, and faces two charges of involuntary manslaughter over the fatal shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Charges were filed last week by the Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office, and Ms Reeb was listed as the special prosecutor in the case.
“The special prosecutor in this case, Andrea Reeb, is a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives,” the motion, filed by Baldwin’s lawyer Luke Nikas, states.
“Under Section 1 of Article III of 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.”
The motion argues that Reeb’s position constitutes a violation of the New Mexico constitution’s separation of powers provision and that she could “make prosecutorial decisions that serve her legislative interests”.
“Ms Reeb’s continued service as a special prosecutor in this case is unconstitutional,” the motion states.
“The legal question is not a close one. She must be disqualified.”
Ms Reeb was elected as Republican member of the New Mexico House of Representatives for the 64th district in November 2020, taking up the position last month.
The motion to dismiss her comes after the DA’s office released a 44-strong witness list for the upcoming hearing, which included several members of the film’s production team as well as director Joel Souza.
Souza was also harmed during the incident in October 2021, during which a prop gun held by Baldwin went off and killed Ms Hutchins.
No charges were pressed over the non-fatal shooting of the director.