SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Can the person trying the ‘Rust’ case in court be both a state lawmaker and a special prosecutor? That’s the question a Santa Fe judge is being asked to evaluate, as actor-producer Alec Baldwin seeks to get special prosecutor Andrea Reeb dismissed from the case under the New Mexico Constitution.

Filing a motion in court Tuesday, Baldwin is claiming that Reeb cannot “exercise any powers properly belonging” to either the executive or judicial branches of government because of her position as a state representative in the legislative branch. A Republican elected in November 2022, Reeb is a first-term New Mexico House lawmaker, representing areas of Clovis and Portales in southeast New Mexico.

Alec Baldwin is seeking to have a judge remove special prosecutor Andrea Reeb (right) from the 'Rust' case
Alec Baldwin is seeking to have a judge remove special prosecutor Andrea Reeb (right) from the ‘Rust’ case | Image Composite: KRQE News 13

Baldwin and film armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed each face one count of involuntary manslaughter in the 2021 shooting death of Halyna Hutchins. A film cinematographer, Hutchins was shot and killed by a firearm Alec Baldwin was handling during a rehearsal.

Reeb was been appointed as the special prosecutor for the case by 1st Judical District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altweis. Baldwin’s attorneys are seeking to disqualify Reeb from further participation the case.

Prior to her work as a state lawmaker, Reeb spent 25 years working in the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. She was appointed to be the District Attorney of the 9th Judicial District in 2014, then was subsequently elected to office for three terms.

While Reeb is no longer an elected DA, Baldwin’s attorneys say her appointment as special prosecutor effectively gives her executive power within the judicial branch. In a filing, attorneys argue Reeb’s “continued service as a special prosecutor is unconstitutional.”

Baldwin’s defense argues in part that Reeb’s position overseeing the case and power as a lawmaker could potentially carry influence across two separate powers of government. In the filing, attorney argue potential abuse of power, writing: “[Reeb’s] potential influence on her colleagues in the Legislature could thwart any efforts to legislatively foreclose a prosecution that has been widely criticized as unjust and unprecedented.”

They also argue that “allowing a single person to exercise both legislative and prosecutorial power could taint prosecutorial decision-making.” A judge has yet to weigh in the the argument, and Reeb has yet to file a response.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are expected to make a first court appearance in the case on February 24. The virtual hearing will take place remotely, via video link.