Alec Baldwin claims special prosecutor in 'Rust' case violated his constitutional rights
Alec Baldwin's attorneys claimed in a new court filing that the now-former special prosecutor who investigated the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of "Rust" used the case to advance her career and that public statements made in the case have violated his constitutional rights.
New Mexico state Rep. Andrea Reeb announced last week that she was stepping down from the case. The resignation came weeks after Baldwin's counsel moved to disqualify her, arguing that under state law she cannot simultaneously exercise legislative and judicial power.
In a motion filed on Tuesday withdrawing their now-moot Feb. 7 motion to disqualify Reeb, Baldwin's attorneys outlined a series of concerns they had over reported private and public statements made by the Santa Fe district attorney's office and Reeb. The actor faces two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of Hutchins.
When the district attorney's office announced last year that Reeb would join the team investigating the October 2021 on-set shooting, Reeb was a candidate for the New Mexico House of Representatives.
Baldwin's motion this week cites a New York Times report published on Tuesday on a private email exchange between Reeb and Santa Fe County district attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, calling it "yet another troubling development" in the state's prosecution.
According to the motion and Times reporting, on June 9, 2022, Reeb asked the district attorney to mention that she is assisting in the case because "it might help in my campaign lol."
Reeb asked the district attorney to "publicize the fact that she was working on the case in order to advance her political career," Baldwin's attorneys wrote in the motion, claiming it was an "abuse of the system" and violated Baldwin's constitutional rights.
Reeb won her election and was designated as special prosecutor in the "Rust" case earlier this year, the motion noted.
Baldwin's attorneys also highlighted what they called a "series of extraordinary public statements" made by officials in recent weeks in response to the defense's legal filings that they argued implied Baldwin's guilt and threatened his right to a fair trial.
His attorneys cited a statement from the district attorney's office spokesperson in response to the defense's motion seeking to disqualify Reeb, which said in part that Baldwin and his lawyers "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."
Baldwin's attorneys said the statement "raises serious questions under the New Mexico Rules of Professional Conduct" -- which prohibit lawyers from making "any extrajudicial or out-of-forum statement" in proceedings that may go to trial.
Their motion also cited Reeb's resignation announcement as "another public statement that implied Baldwin's guilt and that again failed to note the presumption of innocence." Reeb's statement said in part that "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."
MORE: 'Rust' timeline: Key events in the Alec Baldwin on-set shooting
In waiving the disqualification motion, the attorneys stated that Baldwin "does not waive the rights to raise the disqualification issue in the future or to otherwise challenge the prosecution as a whole on the grounds that the State's conduct to date...has violated [his] constitutional rights."
The spokesperson for the Santa Fe district attorney's office declined to comment on the motion at this time. ABC News has reached out to Reeb for comment.
Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to his charges. He has also denied pulling the trigger and says he was told the gun did not contain live ammunition. The film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter over Hutchins' death. Her attorney has said she intends to plead not guilty and has said she has no idea how live rounds ended up in the gun.
Both are scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on May 3.
First assistant director David Halls took a plea deal after being charged with negligent use of a deadly weapon in connection with the shooting. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance later this month.
Alec Baldwin claims special prosecutor in 'Rust' case violated his constitutional rights originally appeared on abcnews.go.com