SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Defense attorneys for actor Alec Baldwin are seeking to disqualify the special prosecutor in the case against him stemming from the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on a New Mexico film set.
In a motion filed Tuesday in Santa Fe-based district court, Baldwin’s legal team said Andrea Reeb’s position as a state lawmaker prohibits her under state law from holding any authority in a judicial capacity.
Reeb is “exercising either the executive power or the judicial power, and her continued service as a special prosecutor is unconstitutional,” Baldwin’s team argued in the motion.
Reeb, a Republican, was elected to the state House of Representatives in November and started her term last month.
The office of Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies dismissed the idea that Reeb would be disqualified. In a statement, the office characterized the motion as nothing but a legal diversion.
“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,” the office wrote in the statement.
Baldwin and film-set weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed are scheduled to make their first court appearance by video conference in late February. Both have been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Hutchins died shortly after being wounded during rehearsals at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe on Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun went off, killing her and wounding the director, Joel Souza.
A manslaughter charge can be brought if a defendant killed while doing something lawful but dangerous and was acting negligently or without caution.