Attorneys for actor Alec Baldwin filed a motion to remove special prosecutor Andrea Reeb from his involuntary manslaughter case.
In November, the Republican Reeb won a seat in the New Mexico House of Representatives. The filing claims that although Reeb was assigned as a special prosecutor before the election, her role in the judicial (as a special prosecutor) and legislative (a newly-elected lawmaker) branch is “unconstitutional.”
“Under Section 1 of Article III of the New Mexico Constitution, however, a sitting member of the Legislature may not ‘exercise any powers properly belonging’ to either the executive or judicial branch,” the document reads. “As a special prosecutor, Representative Reeb is vested by statute with ‘all the powers and duties’ of a District Attorney, who is considered to be a member of either the judicial or executive branch of the New Mexico government… Representative Reeb is therefore exercising either the executive power or the judicial power, and her continued service as a special prosecutor is unconstitutional.”
Heather Brewer, the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney, shrugged off the motion as a distraction.
“Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys can use whatever tactics they want to distract from the fact that Halyna Hutchins died because of more than mere negligence on the Rust film set,” a spokesperson for Brewer told Yahoo News. “However, the district attorney and the special prosecutor will remain focused on the evidence and on trying this case so that justice is served.”
Even if Reeb is removed, the case will go forward. The district attorney has charged Baldwin with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, which could mean five years in prison. Also charged is the movie’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. Baldwin accidentally shot and killed Hutchins in late 2021 while filming the low-budget Western Rust. The prosecutor believes Baldwin’s negligence in handling what he knew was a working firearm was criminal.
It’s difficult to discern what Baldwin’s play is here. I can see trying to taint the judge as a “Republican,” but the prosecutor? Is the idea to signal to a potential jury that this is all political? Or is the idea to signal to the prosecutor that Baldwin is going to fight anything and everything in the hopes of getting a decent plea deal?
From where I sit, and I’m not unsympathetic to Baldwin’s position, this reeks of desperation. My first thought was: This is it? This is all you’ve got motion-wise? There might be other motions coming, a flood of them, but first impressions count, and this looks weak.
In Baldwin’s position, I’d be looking for a plea deal. With all those kids, does he really want to spend his more of his golden years and most of his fortune on attorneys? Does he really want to stretch this out for another two or three years? Baldwin turns 65 in a couple of months. Get it behind you, save your money, and move on with your life. As long as there’s no prison sentence, who cares if you have a criminal record? Your family knows what happened. You know what happened. So you might not be able to vote or own a gun. It’s your family that matters, especially as you approach old age.
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