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Special prosecutor in Alec Baldwin manslaughter trial steps down

Actor and producer Alec Baldwin is charged with manslaughter in a death on the set of the movie "Rust." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI.
Actor and producer Alec Baldwin is charged with manslaughter in a death on the set of the movie "Rust." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI. | License Photo

March 15 (UPI) -- The special prosecutor in the Rust manslaughter case against Alec Baldwin has stepped down after the actor's counsel filed a motion to have her removed on allegations that the state lawmaker's involvement violated the New Mexico Constitution.

Andrea Reed, who was appointed special prosecutor by District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies on Aug. 3, announced she was stepping down in a statement Tuesday, saying it was in the best interest of the case.

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"My priority in the 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."

Hutchins died when a prop gun held by Baldwin discharged on the set of the western Rust on Oct. 21, 2021. Involuntary manslaughter charges were filed against the actor and his weapons armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, in January.

The statement of probable cause states Hutchins died as a result of Baldwin having acted recklessly in numerous instances during the production of the film.

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Last month, his lawyers filed a motion to disqualify Reed as she is a state lawmaker.

Reed was appointed special prosecutor in the case after she had secured the Republican nomination for the New Mexico House of Representatives, which she was elected to in November.

Baldwin's counsel argued in court documents that she was barred from being a special prosecutor by the New Mexico Constitution, which states no sitting member of the legislature may "exercise any powers properly belonging" to either branch of state government.

Baldwin, an actor and producer of the film Rust, pleaded not guilty to the charge against him last month.

Reed's stepping down represents a second victory for Baldwin's team amid litigation after they had successfully petitioned in having a five-year gun-enhancement charge brought against their client dropped.

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