NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Both sides of the Rust movie shooting case are set to face off in court Monday. They will be debating the future of a special prosecutor on the case.
Lawyers in the Rust shooting case are set to meet in court Monday morning to discuss if another special prosecutor will be appointed to help district attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies try the case.
The former special prosecutor, Andrea Reeb, stepped down from the position earlier this month, after Alec Baldwin’s lawyer filed a motion to have her removed, citing a conflict with her being both the special prosecutor and a state lawmaker. The district attorney (DA) wants to appoint a new special prosecutor.
However, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer filed a brief on Friday, claiming the DA doesn’t have the power to both prosecute the case and appoint a special prosecutor.
Her attorneys argued the special prosecutor statute is only triggered when the DA cannot act in the case. They’re asking the court to deny the state’s request for a special prosecutor, or at least rule that anyone from the DA’s office cannot co-counsel with a special prosecutor.
The DA’s office also filed a brief explaining their argument to allow them to select a special prosecutor. In the document, Carmack-Altwies argued she’s not appointing a special prosecutor due to a conflict or other ethical reasons, but rather “other good causes,” citing budgetary factors and the caseload.
They said, with only five weeks until the preliminary hearing, there’s not enough time to have a special prosecutor try to re-do all the work the DA’s office has already done on the case.
The DA’s office argued, because of this, there is no basis to ban her from working as co-counsel with the special prosecutor.