The special prosecutor leading the “Rust” manslaughter case against Alec Baldwin stepped down Tuesday — a month after the actor filed for her removal.
Andrea Reeb said the controversy surrounding her status as a New Mexico legislator was interfering with “the real issue at hand.”
“After much reflection, I have made the difficult decision to step down as special prosecutor in the ‘Rust’ case,” Reeb said in a statement.
“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.”
Baldwin — who was charged with involuntary manslaughter in Hutchins’ on-set death — filed to disqualify Reeb, who was elected to the state House of Representatives in November.
His attorneys argued New Mexico law prohibits state lawmakers from also being a prosecutor.
“Representative Reeb is therefore either the executive power or the judicial power, and her service as a special prosecutor is unconstitutional,” Baldwin’s attorneys wrote in the motion.
The “30 Rock” star will soon head to trial to face allegations he pulled the trigger on the gun that killed cinematographer Hutchins.
He has insisted he is not to blame for Hutchins’ death.
It is still unknown how a live bullet ended up in the prop gun’s chamber instead of a blank.
Last week, Baldwin’s defense attorney made a damning allegation that the state had destroyed the gun, a key piece of evidence in the case.
Prosecutors later denied the accusation, stating it had sustained damage to internal components during the FBI’s functionality testing but that it “still exists and can be used as evidence.”
“Rust” director Joel Souza was also injured in the shooting and could be featured as a witness in the case on behalf of the prosecution.
The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed — who was in charge of weapons during filming — also faces involuntary manslaughter charges.
In October, Baldwin settled with Hutchins’ family in a wrongful death claim against him and others for an undisclosed amount.